West Virginia January 20, 2018
This Incredible 1970s Transit System In West Virginia Could Be The Future
The usage of light rail or subway systems is nothing new in America, but there is one form of light rail that is above and beyond what most major cities use. However, this state-of-the-art system is not a new invention, it was actually created back in the 70s.
In 1975, an innovative from of light rail began operation in Morgantown.
Its purpose was fairly simple, to create transportation throughout the hilly city between the two separate campuses of West Virginia University.
The PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) is exactly what the name describes.
All you have to do is push a button and the train will arrive within minutes to take you to your destination. The ride is fast and nonstop.
Not only is your ride non-stop, so is the entire system.
Regardless of weather conditions, the PRT never stops. The city could get a foot of snow and the PRT will keep moving, thanks to a heated track that will melt every flake the moment it lands.
The system was the first of its kind and was developed with the help of the Boeing Company and NASA, both of whom were responsible for getting the system up and running.
The system behind the PRT knows the location of every car with a five second degree of accuracy, only going to show that instead of becoming an antiquated system, it is frequently given upgrades to keep its operation modern.
Even Heathrow Airport in London has created a similar system.
At the time of its construction in 2011, it was proclaimed as the future of transport, but it didn't happen that way. A similar belief was uttered when the PRT came online - It is innovative and a clear step above what most current cities have, but its innovation has been largely ignored because current systems are, quite simply, cheaper to produce.
So, the PRT remains a unique, state-of-the-art rail system that, for the time being, is exclusive to West Virginia, and America in general. Will engineers discover a way to create a more cost effective version of the PRT for widespread use? Only time will tell. Check out the video below to learn more.
Have you ridden the PRT in Morgantown? Feel free to tell us what you thought in the comments below.
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6 incredible day trips you can take by train.