The Roundhouse Podcast

Jet-Powered Train: The Story of M497

Can you imagine what it would be like to take a jet powered train up to a world-record-setting speed? We’ll talk with Don Wetzel who helped design and pilot the M497 to over 180 MPH back in 1966!

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Question of the Day

What is your favorite experimental steam locomotive? Let me know and I will respond to your comments in our next episode.

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4 thoughts on “Jet-Powered Train: The Story of M497

  1. Andrew Rothe

    My favourite experimental steam locomotive is the London Midland Scottish Railway’s ‘Turbomotive’. Unlike a lot of experimental prototypes, it was actually quite successful.
    And even her demise led to progress; After being rebuilt with conventional running gear, she was written off in an accident. This left a gap in Class 8 motive power for the BR Midland region, which led to the construction of another famous British experimental pacific; No.71000 Duke of Gloucester, with her caprotti valve gear.

  2. Matthew Betzner

    The Union Pacific Coal Burning Turbine considering the unit was basically made from parts and equipment from the scrap yard.

  3. Chris Dawson

    I had the pleasure of getting to know Don, and once on an excursion on a tourist line with steam engines, they let him take the engineer’s seat and run the train for a long while, which was a hoot. Great guy, great stories, and someone who lived some great railroad history at the New York Central!

  4. Derighteous

    My, two, favorite experimental locomotives are London Midland Scottish Railway 6900 “Fury” and Norfolk & Western’s *Jawn Henry” due to the uniqueness of both locomotives. The LMS had rebuilt 6900 from one of their passenger 4-6-0 ten wheelers whereas N&W had asked Baldwin Locomotive works to build the Henry.

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