But levitating locomotives are very much a reality thanks to Japanese researchers who have developed a train with wings and propellers that can fly along a track.
A research team, lead by Tohoku University's Yusuke Sugahara, has made a prototype of the train-plane which floats just above the ground on a cushion of air.
Since the train does not come into contact with the ground, there is no friction reducing its forward momentum, allowing the vehicle to potentially reach greater speeds than regular trains with less energy expenditure.
The problem with this revolutionary type of train is that because it has wings it has to deal with pitch, roll and yaw - like all planes - making it very difficult for the bottom of the vehicle to stay parallel with the ground. Read More