“Aero-train” is a levitation transport system alternative to the famous “Maglev” (Magnetic levitation). The purpose of both systems is to keep the train some centimeters above the ground, “maglev” trains use the power of electromagnetism most of the times using superconducting magnets, in the case of “aero-train” technology it uses an air cushion using the power of the “ground effect” (Something similar to hovercrafts).
In France they thought it was a good idea 40 years ago and started to create “aero-trains”. The project worked from 1965 until 1977, they even managed to beat the some world speed records, but at the end they decided to stop all the research because changing all railways for “aero-trains” was too expensive. Special rail tracks are needed for “aero-trains”.
This is one of the french Aero-trains.
Research stop during many decades until Tohoku University started a project called“0 emission Aero-train”. It seems that Aero-trains if well designed do not require too much energy, so they thought that using some wind mills installed along the rail tracks would be enough. Tohoku University’s aero-train will start to work in 2020, and will be able to travel at 500km/h transporting 335 passengers at 10cm above the ground.
This is how the Japanese aero-train prototype looks like. Here there is one video where you can see it moving.
I’m really impressed with the projects that Japanese Universities are able to conduct, there is lots of money for students/teachers/researchers !