…don’t know when I’ll be back again. A Soviet ER22-based jet train, that is. One that achieved 180 mph. The SVL (which stands for High-speed Laboratory Railcar) was built around 1970. It added two Ivchenko AI-25 turbofans from a Yak-40 passenger jet in lieu of the electric drive. Details are skimpy surrounding this train, and nobody seems to know why it was cancelled. The one prototype is now rotting near the Kalininsky factory that birthed it.
The jet train isn’t a wholly Soviet experiment, though. The New York Central Railroad toyed with the idea and built and tested the M-497 Black Beetle in 1966. Even though it’s construction was relatively inexpensive (it used a modified Budd Rail Diesel Car with two secondhand General Electric J47-19 jet engines from a Convair B-36), it was deemed commercially nonviable. It did allow for the collection of data regarding high speed rail travel on the existing infrastructure.
[Image Credit: kolobkov.net via English Russia]