Technical experts watched a demonstration near Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, Dec 12, of a one-third size model of what may become the answer to universal traffic congestion problems.
LV.PAN. Towards rail car travelling along rack.
TRAVEL SHOT. From rail car.
SV. Rail car along track PAN to CU wheels and stabilising wheels.
CU.PAN.Left to right: Mr. Renwick, Mr. Hampton and Mr. Johnson.
CU.PAN.Power unit PAN to wheels and stabilisers.
SCU. Power unit PAN to wheels and stabilisers.
SV. Mr. Renwick pushing model along piles.
TOP V.PAN.INT.Scale model showing train on piles along roadway
SV. Model train past camera.
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Background: Technical experts watched a demonstration near Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, Dec 12, of a one-third size model of what may become the answer to universal traffic congestion problems.
Three Southern Rhodesian Government engineers - V.W.Hampton, Group Capt. G.D. Green and N.H. Renwick - have developed in eleven months a silent-running 50 mph overhead railway, to operate at a penny per passenger mile.
Fitted with rubber-tyred wheels, the diesel engine and carriage move on almost square reinforced concrete rail strips set 6 ft apart on reinforced concrete piles. Locos are to cost GBP12,000, and carriages for 100 passengers GBP6,000 each. For traction, 250 HP would be sufficient to pull eight coaches. In the test model, a 198cc motorcycle engine easily pulled a load of ten adults at over 25 mph.
The inventors claim the "Skyway" - as they call it - would be cheaper to build, operate and maintain than existing rail transport. In town, where it is expected to cost GBP30,000 a mile, it could run above existing roads. In the country, at GBP20,000 a mile, it would be built on piles of varying height so as to keep gradients fairly average, cutting out embankments tunnels and entrenchments.
It will make its first public appearance at the Central African Trade Fair at Bulawayo next year.