The M-497 (nicknamed Black Beetle) was an experimental jet-powered locomotive test bed of the New York Central Railroad corporation, developed and tested in 1966 in the United States of America. Two second-hand General Electric J47-19 jet engines (designed as boosters for the Convair B-36 intercontinental bomber) were mounted atop an existing Budd Rail Diesel Car (an RDC-3, part coach, part baggage and mail configuration) body which had received a streamlined front cowling. The construct was then successfully sent on test runs over the existing tracks between Butler, Indiana and Stryker, Ohio (the line was chosen for its arrow-straight layout and good condition, but otherwise unmodified track). The car reached a speed of 183.68 mph (295.54 km/h), still the light-rail speed record for the United States.
Even with this spectacular performance (and even though it had been built relatively cheaply, using existing parts), the project was not considered viable commercially. The railroad gathered valuable test data regarding the stresses of high-speed rail travel on conventional equipment and tracks then existing in America. The data was largely ignored, as the NYC was headed for merger with its arch rival Pennsylvania Railroad. The PRR was already heavily involved in the USDOT-funded Metroliner project. After jet engine removal, the rail car returned to normal service and was scrapped in 1984.
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External links 
Photo of the train
The flight of the M-497