Thursday, March 25, 2010

PRT Guys Talk Trash About Rep. Tim Walz

In the aftermath of the failure to obtain a $25 million earmark for a pod facility in Winona, CPRT member and PRT consultant Dick Gronning had this to say about Congressman Tim Walz at the Transport Innovators forum:

It may be a DEM - REP thing. The democrats have been lobbied to death by the LRT folks. Our CPRT group did informational lobbying a few years back. The republicans would hear us out, but the democrats would either not see us, or show us glazed-over eyes. "That's REAL nice!" And, out-a here.

I doubt if he even knows what PRT stands for let alone what it looks like. Things ARE changing, but maybe not where this guy comes from. It IS true that SWE/T2C made the first bid on the project. The mayor is enamored with T2C. The idea behind the effort is to prove a Minnesota-based system. He doesn't get that either.


Others joined in the Walz-bashing... TriTrack "inventor" Jerry Roane:


Notice he is not even asking for the funding but is personally standing in the way. How much does it cost him to ask the question? I did not have the time to submit TriTrack to Minn. I have enough snakes to kill around here but perhaps I should have submitted something to show support for my buds in Minn.

Jerry Roane

Skytrek "inventor" Jack Slade:

At a guess (scale of 1 to 10) he is almost up to 1....Jack Slade

Pod booster Walter Brewer:

How about minus 5?

Keep it KLASSY PRT Guys!

Time for a review....

No $25 million earmark for PRT pork project in Winona, Minnesota.

The ULTra PRT launch at Heathrow has been delayed at least 3 times.

The Swedish/Korean PRT prototype malfunctioned recently in front of the media.

The Masdar PRT (actually computer-guided golf carts that follow magnets imbedded in the roadway) has been scaled way back.

The much-hyped PRT project in Daventry ended in fiasco.

The so-called Morgantown PRT (it's a mundane people-mover) was the subject of a recent student newspaper editorial after a serious malfunction created a "fireball" and filled a vehicle with smoke.

Will Focus Shift to Reality-Based Transit in Winona?

Transit consultant Michael Setty in the Winona Daily News:

Michael D. Setty: PRT will ‘work,' but it won't be worth it

Larry Fabian of Boston is correct that personal rapid transit will technically "work," like the technologically clever Segway also "works." Segways were touted as a "transportation revolution" but to date have found only a few practical uses, such as tourist rentals and as a ride for security guards.

In 99 percent of the cases where PRT evangelists like Fabian think PRT is applicable, creative application of proven transit technologies will be far more economic, quicker to implement and attractive to would-be riders.

Consider the conceptual "Quality Bus" network proposed for Winona as an alternative to PRT in my December 2009 paper (available at

A full PRT system serving Winona, realistically, would cost around $300 million to $400 million, plus conservatively costing $8 million to $11 million annually to operate - with an assumption very generous to PRT that it would attract around 4 million passengers annually.

In contrast, I estimated a quality bus network running every 10 to 15 minutes all day, built around proven transit planning principles, will cost about $35 million, plus about $3.4 million to $3.5 million annually to operate.

Conservatively, a quality bus network will attract 2 million to 3 million annual riders, assuming supporting parking and other policies at Winona State University and by the city.

I thought common sense and practicality were the hallmarks of being a Midwesterner.

So why have the parking problems at Winona State University continued to use up a lot of ink, unlike many Midwestern university towns where tighter parking rules and frequent, attractive transit networks have mitigated the issue?

Bloomington, Ind., Champaign-Urbana, Ill., Lafayette, Ind., Macomb, Ill., and many other communities have achieved balance between parking and attractive bus networks.

Certainly Winona can too - if there is a will while avoiding fanciful diversions such as PRT.

A comment:

The voice of reason has surfaced.

If it could only be heard by the narrow of mind who dreamed that this idea had any merit at all.

As we observed, Mall of America we are not! Where is our common sense?

Recall the days when we had bus routes?

PRT is so not happening in Minnesota.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Winona Public Officials Pitch for PRT Funding - Too Late

Video from Winona 360:

Reporter Megan McNulty interviews Winona City Manager Eric Sorenson and Mayor Jerry Miller on their thoughts about the proposed plans for a Personal Rapid Transit model of transportation in Winona.

Broken Links at North American ULTra PRT Website

Monday, the day I learned Tim Walz did not approve a $25 million earmark for a PRT "research" facility in Winona, PRT evangelist Steve Raney posted this message on the Transport Innovator's forum: content has moved to content will soon move to We are attempting to support some of the old pages on the new so that web sites that link to us won't get too broken. This will all take some time and some links will break. Sorry for the inconvenience.

This change effectively scrubs the site of web pages describing PRT proposals in Minnesota - web pages apparently created by Steve Raney. Raney came to Rochester, Minnesota late last year to pitch ULTra at an MnDOT symposium.

The domain was apparently registered recently - no mention of ownership:

Registered through:
Created on: 12-Mar-10
Expires on: 12-Mar-11
Last Updated on: 22-Mar-10

Who knows why there are now 3 websites for a company with a product that's still under wraps... my guess is this means ATS ULTra has given up selling their glorified golf carts in Minnesota.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Winona Daily News Postmortem For Winona Pod Earmark

Winona Daily News:

U.S. Rep. Tim Walz has submitted federal funding requests totalling $11.1 million for seven Winona-area projects, including a third attempt to land a $3 million earmark for the city of Goodview's radium-filtration plants.

But the city of Winona's request for $25 million to build a test track and laboratory for Personal Rapid Transit was not among them, as the congressman says he has doubts about the viability of the futuristic transportation system.

"We're just not sure," said Walz, DFL-Minn. "As a demonstration project and that amount of money when it's not at a point where it's been demonstrated, it was pretty hard for us to request it."


Walz also passed on another city of Winona request, which would award $1.36 million to re-establish the outlet from Lake Winona.

City officials, while acknowledging the congressman has the right to support any projects he chooses, disagreed with his assessment of PRT, which uses small, pod-like vehicles on guideways to shuttle passengers to their destinations.

"I respect his opinion, and I have my opinion," Mayor Jerry Miller said. "I think it would be a good project. Somebody's going to do it somewhere."

Walz cited the technology's unproven track record and the size of the earmark as rationale for not requesting federal funding. The only other funding request he submitted in the same price range was $35 million for the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System, a project that will provide treated water to 300,000 people.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

No Earmark for Winona Personal Rapid Transit Boondoggle

The earmark request for a PRT research facility in Winona, Minnesota has failed to make the list just issued by Rep. Tim Walz (PDF here).

There is no funding for PRT in the MN Legislature's bonding bill either.

After 30+ years of claiming PRT to be better than conventional modes of transit, the PRT hucksters in Minnesota have failed to deliver anything more than hype.

Time for a review....

Recent PRT Failure

The ULTra PRT launch at Heathrow has been delayed at least 3 times.

The Swedish/Korean PRT prototype malfunctioned recently in front of the media.

The Masdar PRT (actually computer-guided golf carts that follow magnets imbedded in the roadway) has been scaled way back.

The much-hyped PRT project in Daventry ended in fiasco.

The so-called Morgantown PRT (it's a mundane people-mover) was the subject of a recent student newspaper editorial after a serious malfunction filled a vehicle with smoke.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Finally, The Truth About Personal Rapid Transit at Masdar

After hundreds of puff-pieces about the pods at Masdar The AE National admits the PRT is no big deal:

As part of the larger review of the city’s development strategy, Masdar executives have become increasingly doubtful that a fleet of futuristic electric “pod” cars would be able to serve the entire development on their own, said Alan Frost, the director of the city’s property development unit. The city’s planners are also working to adjust to anticipated delays in the emirate’s larger public transport system, over which they have no control.

The image of the “personal rapid transit” (PRT) system of automated electric cars that whisk residents and freight around the city had become a notable feature of Masdar City since the proposed development was unveiled to the public in January last year.

And although the pod cars are already running and will be in use when the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology opens in September, they may prove impractical for the larger city, Mr Frost said.

“If you say, ‘Do I think the PRT works on a city-scale?’ No, it doesn’t.”

The cars were still being evaluated for wider city use, he added.

The key issue was the pods’ magnetic routes, which limited future transport options. The pods use exclusive tracks that mean other electric vehicles would be excluded from the city, Mr Frost said. For short trips of a few hundred metres, Mr Frost said walking would be the biggest competing technology to the pod.

You can find Masdar puffery all over the web and it will stay there forever confusing and misleading the public about real transportation choices.

The Wikipedia page for Masdar:

Automobiles will be banned within the city; travel will be accomplished via public mass transit and personal rapid transit systems...


The New York Times:

The PRT pods were all the rage as recently as January, when reporters converged on Masdar City for the World Future Energy Summit. Engineers showed off prototype pods, and visitors wondered at the air quality to be expected in a car-free metropolis.

But a few months later, Masdar officials took a step back from that promise. "We need to look at whether it works," said Fares Ghneim, Masdar's chief of communications, in a telephone interview.

Ghneim said London's Heathrow Airport uses a similar system but that one is limited to a narrow path. The scheme devised for Masdar was to run throughout the city, which is more complicated.

One limitation is that it prevents having anything else where the tracks run," Ghneim explained. If other vehicles ran on the PRT lane, they would obscure the magnets and confuse the guiding sensors. Also, he said, committing heavily to the PRT system might not make sense just as efficient new electric and hybrid vehicles are entering the marketplace.

For now, the PRT system is being implemented just around the Masdar Institute campus. The system is sure to draw interest and generate experience with the technology, but Ghneim admitted that within that limited area, walking might be just as effective a way to travel.

Although it won't happen, this phony-baloney video showing virtual pods whizzing around a virtual Masdar will stay on You Tube forever:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Personal Rapid Transit at the Mall of America by the Fourth of July?

It doesn't look too good for that Winona PRT earmark. A gloomy gadgetbahner makes this doleful prediction at the Transport Innovator's forum:

Actually the news just got worse. Just announced today...barely three weeks after they buried the body of Democratic Congressman John Murhtha, the king of earmarks, the House Democratic Party has all of a sudden declared that earmarks are no more. If the Winona project was dependent on earmarks, I think that the Winona PRT project is least until after the fall elections. Maybe San Jose also????

All is not gloom and doom for PRT in Minnesota... The inventor of JPOD's, Bill James is going to have a PRT up and running at the MoA in a mere three months!

The Hull Sun:

VanHamm said JPods has plans to build a 12-mile system with four tracks at the LuoSiwan International Trade Center in China, as well as a smaller system at the Mall of America.

Yup, that's right.... and Bill James says he can have his Jpods up and running by July 4th:

He [James] told the board that officers in his company are funding both the China and Mall of America projects, and they expect to have the Mall of America project up and running by the 4th of July.

Confirmation of the JPOD/Megamall project in The Daily News Tribune:

In recent years James has approached officials in San Jose and Minneapolis with the podcar plan but hasn’t received commitments. He said the company will build a podcar line from the Mall of America to a nearby Ikea store.

... well sort of:

Erica Dao, a spokeswoman for the Mall of America, said no agreements are in place.

“We’re hopeful we can work something out with them,” she said of JPods.

And I'm sure they will... only three months until you can "pimp your own pod" at the MoA!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

WVU Officials - "Fireball Effect" on PRT

But, they claim in the student newspaper, the Morgantown PRT (not really a PRT) is perfectly safe:

Forman said three-prong brushes on PRT vehicles can be become misaligned, scraping the ramps that guide the vehicles due to carbon buildup from the machinery.

The scraping brushes, carbon buildup and speed of the vehicle can cause a "fireball effect," he said.

"It would take a substantial fire for the vehicle to be engulfed or for the passengers to be in any danger," Forman said. "The outside (of the vehicle) and the carpet inside are completely fire resistant."

Because the Feb. 25 incident happened in a low-speed area, more passengers were subject to seeing more of the fire than if the PRT was traveling fast along the track, he said. Usually, impending flashes or fireballs happen very quickly, Forman said.

PRT employees, who call the occurrences an "HV1," locate the short circuits on the track to fix areas where the buses could be scraping because of carbon buildup.

Students should insist on an independent investigation to determine whether the "fireball effect" is dangerous.

Hilarious Winona PRT Earmark Request

Winona Daily News:

U.S. Rep Tim Walz has received requests for more than $280 million in earmarks for Winona-area projects, including $25 million to test transit technology in Winona...


One of Congress' most vocal proponents of transparency in the earmark process, Walz invited residents to submit online comments at on the proposed earmarks in what he called a "virtual hearing." He had received more than 700 responses as of 4 p.m. Wednesday, Severs said, and comments submitted through 5 p.m. today will be considered as Walz determines which projects to submit to the appropriations committee.

Download the Winona appropriation request (PDF) #87 here. I've posted a few excerpts below (click on the screenshots to make them bigger).

A while back the Winona Post ran a story with this headline:

Firm pledges millions to Winona pod car test lab (01/24/2010)
A private company that has developed a futuristic pod car transit system has pledged millions to Winona’s bid for a test lab to be the first to prove such a transportation system works.

Taxi 2000, based in Fridley, Minn., has offered to cover the required 20 percent match to a $24.9 million federal grant Winona will apply for. City leaders are backing the proposal, which would bring Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) to be studied in Winona, aiming to bring jobs and business to the first success of a transit vision first dreamed of in the 1950s.

According to the Winona earmark request, the millions of dollars pledged by Taxi 2000 appear to be an in kind contribution:

"Taxi 2000 (a private Minnesota-based PRT company) has already contributed $5 million (20% match) to the project in preliminary engineering, preparing technology, constructing component prototypes and testing control system software."

Did part of that $5 million go to create this wacky contraption?

And an admimssion that a "pure" PRT system does not yet exist in "a real world setting".

Here is Winona Mayor Jerry Miller's letter requesting the earmark (click to enlarge):

Monday, March 8, 2010

Layoffs at UAE National Means More PRT Hype

Dubai Media Observer reports on layoffs of editors at the UAE National:

Sorry for the delay with getting a post up on this. Lots of people leaving, we're told at least fifteen staff have been fired or resigned over the past month...

The result it seems is even more absurd PRT puff-pieces like this and this.

The puff-piece about ULTra's so-called inventor Martin Lowson has this prediction:

Lowson’s creation is already up and running at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5, where it will begin ferrying business passengers between their cars and the terminal midway this year. In all, 21 vehicles will be operational at the airport, with half a million passengers a year expected to use the pods.

"Midway this year"? How about "later this year"... how long can the PRT guys keep kicking the can pod down the road?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

WVU Promoting its Flawed PRT to Other Universities

The Morgantown PRT (not really a PRT - but that's what they call it) has an explosion and fire and the student newspaper has an editorial calling the WVU PRT a "Flawed Behemoth".... so, what does WVU's Director of Transportation Hugh Kierig do?

He's scheduled "to discuss "future transportation' options for Ann Arbor" at a University of Michigan forum


The forum includes experts on a variety of technologies, including: Mark Fuhrmann of Minneapolis Light Rail; Hugh Kierig of the University of West Virginia at Morgantown's personal rapid transit system; Chris Perkins of Unimodal Personal Rapid Transit; Jim Spalaiskas of Bombardier; Michael York of Cleveland Euclid Corridor; Randy Woolwine of Doppelmayr.

And the wacky Unimodal/Skytran "built with robots" would-be PRT vendor will be there too!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Editorial - Morgantown PRT "Horror Story" & "Flawed Behemoth"

Editorial in the WVU The Daily Athenaeum:

It’s pretty safe to say anyone who has ridden West Virginia University’s PRT system has some kind of horror story.

Typically, it’s the same complaint – it breaks down or it’s is late getting to one station over another. However, recent incidents have proven to be more serious.

We’ve had multiple reports from riders about seeing a PRT car filled with smoke and a fire erupting in one of the cars Thursday.

Students in the car were then forced to walk the tracks as the system came to a complete stop – a safeguard for such incidents.

However, these incidents have been downplayed by the University.

The issues were attributed to "minor problems" and "arching electrical phases on track" that "caused a flash and cloud of smoke," according to Director of Transportation and Parking Hugh Kierig, by way of Becky Lofstead, assistant vice president for University Communications.

As reported in Monday’s edition of The Daily Athenaeum, University spokesman John Bolt said there had been several electrical problems but none were major.

The PRT is synonymous with its problems, despite continual reassurances from University-provided statistics of high reliability and constant uptime.

The system is a flawed behemoth. There isn’t enough money to completely overhaul the system, despite constant funding being poured into it for upgrades.

Most recently, the University closed the system for an entire summer, spending $2.5 million on track and system issues.
These upgrades weren’t designed to fix all issues, and they haven’t.

Read the entire editorial.

This is how Shay Maunz of the Daily Atheneaum reported the incident February 28th:

Two fires on PRT last week causes trouble for students

A passenger’s photo shows the damage as a result of recent problems.

Several West Virginia University students have reported an explosion on the tracks of the PRT Friday and a fire in a PRT car Thursday, but University officials are denying the incidents occurred.

University officials attributed the disruption in PRT service to minor problems.

"There are some rumors going around on Twitter and some misinformation," said Becky Lofstead, assistant vice president for University Communications. "But there was no explosion or fire or anything."

John Bolt, WVU spokesperson, said though there were several electrical problems with the PRT Friday, none were major.

"My last word was that it was taken care of," he said.

Calls to WVU’s Transportation and Parking Department were not returned by press time.

Sounds like a cover-up. The article continues:

Krista Whites, a freshman theater major, was on PRT car 50 Friday afternoon around 1:40 p.m. heading to the Student Recreation Center when the car stopped between the Beechurst and Engineering stations. There was an "explosion right behind the car that was like five feet in the air," she said.

After an operator’s voice came over the loud speaker, and the car attempted to move again, but "there was another explosion – a bigger one – it left a pretty big hole in the track," Whites said.

The students in the car were then fetched by a PRT employee and walked to the station.

Paige Carver, a sophomore television journalism major, entered the Beechurst PRT station around 1 p.m. Thursday. When she entered the station, she said, a PRT car was waiting at one gate with smoke pouring out of its door.

Carver saw flames inside the car, she said, but could not determine where they originated from because the smoke blocked her view.

She waited for several moments before calling PRT assistance on her cell phone and explaining the situation to the operator.
He took down the information, she said "but there was no shutting it down, no maintenance guy came, for the whole 15 minutes."

The car then left the station and another one came in its place.

For the past several years, the PRT guys have been praising the WVI PRT to the heavens.

Recently, on the City Pages Blotter, Peter "PRT Guru" Muller showed up in the comments to say this about the WVU PRT:

For those who follow the link to Minnesota 20/20 I offer a correction here because Mr. Avidor is careful not to allow comments to his postings directly.The assertion that "The Morgantown PRT has been plagued by glitches and breakdowns ever since" is simply wrong. Morgantown has now completed over 140 million injury-free passenger miles (regular transit would have injured over a hundred). It has done this at transit level of service A - as good as it gets. Yes, it had teething problems but the New York Times recently called it a "white elephant turned into a transit workhorse".

WVU students have made not one, but TWO You Tube Hitler-parodies of the WVU PRT.

More on this blog about the Morgantown PRT.

Another Personal Rapid Transit Fail


The First Round of voting ended on Thursday, February 25 at 5pm ET. This idea concluded voting in 10th Place in Energy and did not make it to the final round.

Rebuild America's Rail System, however made it to the next round with 244 votes.

This idea is currently in 28th Place and needs 411 more votes to be one of the 10 winning ideas.

Sorry PRT hucksters, you just can't fake grassroots support.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Transit Expert Comments on Vectus Pod Snafu

Michael Setty at Public Transit has this to say about the Vectus model PRT malfunctioning in front of reporters in February.

This embarrassing incident only goes to prove one of my predictions: the undue complexity of the Vectus guidance and switching mechanisms would lead to problems--and did.

Read the whole thing.

They're going to need taller ladders:

UPDATE:Michael Setty has a postscript:

Postscript: A PRT news website run by David Gow, the most vociferous, consistent critic of Avidor (every time Avidor posts something at, usually within a day Gow has some sort of snarky reply to Avidor up at PRT is a Joke is a Joke), says that a Vectus spokesperson claims that a minor problem with the Vectus wireless communications system was the cause of the vehicle stalling on the track, as shown in the Swedish newspaper article and photograph. See

But this begs a question: what the heck was that person on the ladder looking at under the vehicle or on the guideway under the vehicle (an action not consistent with an electronics problem--presumably the electronics aren't at the same location as the vehicle undercarriage??)? Given our role as PRT skeptics, we're not taking Gow's word for this; rather, we see it perhaps as "something that goes 'bump' in the night" with some things we'll never know for sure, or at least, as outspoken PRT skeptics, we'll never be allowed to be privy to.


Jim Bunning Once Earmarked $500,000 for Monorail /PRT

Senator Jim Bunning claims to be holding up a spending bill because of what he claims is wasteful spending :

Republican Sen. Jim Bunning, a 78-year-old Hall of Fame pitcher, is playing hardball on Capitol Hill, single-handedly holding up a $10 billion spending bill because it would add to the deficit.

The move has forced some 2,000 federal employees into unpaid furloughs, put jobless benefits in jeopardy for millions and halted more than 40 highway projects.

Because of his ornery nature and ungovernable mouth, Bunning has come to be regarded as the crazy uncle in the Senate attic during his 11 years in Washington. And because he is retiring after this session, there isn't much anyone can do to keep him in line.

But back in 1997, Jim Bunning earmarked $500,000 for PRT, an infeasible transportation concept.

The history of Jim Bunning's crazy earmark is on the Skyloop PRT website (PDF):

In 1997, Senator Jim Bunning obtained $500,000 in federal funds for the study of elevated rail as a possible choice for the I-71 Corridor. OKI had previously rejected all forms of elevated rail in the I-71 Corridor Study; but these funds were to be used only for study of elevated rail, so they were just sitting at OKI, waiting for an agreement between Sen. Bunning and OKI on how they would be used. The CALSC was created when the Sky Loop Committee (SLC) asked Senator Bunning to release the $500,000 to be used for a study of elevated rail (PRT) for a downtown Cincinnati-Covington-Newport transit circulator. Senator Bunning agreed to allow the use of these funds for studying the feasibility of the Sky Loop for the downtown area circulator, which eventually was called the Central Area Loop (CAL).

A 1998 Cincinnati Biz Journal article has more:

Of course, not everyone is sold on PRT. Among its critics is Downtown Cincinnati Inc. transportation guru John Schneider.

"If you liked the Wild Mouse ride at Disneyland, you'll love PRT," said Schneider. "In my view, there's nothing to this."

Schneider questions whether PRT's four-person cars can handle the volume required downtown. Even if it can, he says building a PRT system in addition to light rail is an "unnecessary duplication."

Schneider thinks its elevated rails will clash with urban architecture and could create a third level of pedestrian activity in downtown Cincinnati, where walkers already have a choice between city sidewalks and the Skywalk system. Finally, he doubts whether people will feel safe in a car with no driver.

"I don't know what you do when one of these things breaks down over the Ohio River," he said. "Does a fireman take a ladder up there and rescue you?"

Then there's the issue of cost. Three PRT bidders submitted price tags ranging from $47 million to $58 million, with annual operating costs ranging from $740,000 to $4.9 million.

"I would not accept those (cost figures) at face value," said Tim Reynolds, director of strategic planning for Metro, Cincinnati's transit system. "I think they're optimistic at best."

In fact, the only PRT track that's ever been built is a one-third mile test track with one station that cost $40 million. The track was built by New York-based defense contractor Raytheon Co., in partnership with Taxi 2000, which is trying to sell a PRT system to the regional transit authority in Chicago.

Taxi 2ooo - the same, goofy, would-be PRT vendor that's trying to bamboozle Winona into building a PRT testing facility.

They even had a wacky monorail/PRT symposium like the one MnDOT had in Rochester, Minnesota... both featuring J. E. Anderson.

What happened to Jim Bunning's PRT earmark? It was used to hire engineers to do a study that compared reality-based transit modes with PRT. PRT got failing marks.

You can read that study (2001 OKI Central Loop) here.

Bowling Green Daily News - 6/29/1997 (click on article to make it bigger):

Monday, March 1, 2010

Vectus PRT - FAIL

It got stuck (in Swedish):

- Vi har testkört de här dagarna helt utan problem. Trots att vi har låtit det snöa igen helt och hållet på spåret har det ändå varit lätt att komma i gång, säger Jörgen Gustavsson.

Men när vi på torsdagen besöker den 400 meter långa testbanan vid Uppsala biomedicinska centrum i Uppsala går det inte lika smärtfritt.

- Stopp, stopp, stopp, stopp. Slå av limmarna, ropar Leif Åsberg, teknisk konsult, in till kontrollrummet.

Google English translation:

- We have test driven these days without any problems. Although we have let it snow again entirely on the track, it has nevertheless been easy to get started, "says Jörgen Gustavsson.

But when we're on Thursday the 400-meter long test track in Uppsala Biomedical Center in Uppsala, it is not as painless.

- Stop, stop, stop, stop. Turn off the glue and shout Leif Åsberg, technical consultant, into the control room.

I'm guessing "glue" isn't the right word.

- You can turn on the glue, otherwise it will be difficult, "says Leif Åsberg and begins to push the cart with all his body weight. Cart rolls off and accelerates to about 30 km / h but a hundred meters into the cart path stops again - "technical problems". Something that does not have the weather to do, declares Project Manager Marianne Ogéus.

- You should have come on Monday instead, then it was problem-free, "she says.

But 30 minutes and several attempts later, we simply leave the test track with its tail between his legs.