Soviet plan to build twin-barrelled, streamlined amphibious monorail

The July, 1934 ish of Popular Science reported on this wonderful plan to exploit Soviet Turkestan by means of twin-barrelled, streamlined amphibious monorails to "whiz above desert sands on an overhead rail, or plunge into the water to ford a river."

A single overhead rail on concrete standards could be erected at low cost along these routes, engineers estimate. Air-propelled cars with twin, cigar-shaped hulls could straddle the track and glide along it, at speeds reaching 180 miles an hour, according to calculations based on tests of models at Moscow. The cars would be equipped with Diesel-electric drive, and each one would carry forty passengers or an equivalent freight load. Where the longest of the projected routes crosses the river Amu-Daria, a mile and a quarter wide, it is proposed that amphibian cars be used. On arriving at the shore the cars would leave the overhead rail and cross the river as a boat. Soviet engineers are reported already surveying the route.


  1. “Well, sir, there’s nothing on earth
    Like a genuine,
    Bona fide,

  2. Yes, I’ve been biding my time for the next monorail post so as I could be first.
    The “oh brother where art thou” link was days(eons) ago…glad it got thru.

  3. I think it could only work in countries big enough and with harsh terrain to cross.
    The idea of not breaking up your journey (train – boat – train) is great but, it would be a waste of time in the UK.

  4. Actually, we have a lot of cool things technology-wise as a spin off because we do (spend a lot of money on bombs, etc.)…NASA’s data gathering was also useful for perfecting ICBMs; indeed that was one of the main (if hidden) purposes of the space program, all romantic fanfare aside.

    Ekroplane = a real life Star Wars Landspeeder! Cool!

  5. So you’re saying that if we decided to spend more money on domestic technology, agriculture, transportation, and less on bombs, we would have less cool technology? How so?

  6. …jet-powered monkey-navigated…it goes on like this.

    Oh, sorry.

    The ring came off my pudding can!

  7. “if we decided to spend more money on domestic technology,… and less on bombs, we would have less cool technology? How so?”
    I’m afraid surveys of the history of tech reveals this to be the case. The biggest problem is that funding sources of non-military tech is short-sighted by nature and always has been. Investment standard is (historically) profit in an annual food crop. Military investment has been a reliable longer term investment. What isn’t for “domestic” defense can still be sold to other countries. Some may have thought modern post-cold war tech might be different, but…

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