Jetsons Tech

In a previous entry I talked about a test track for GM / Otis Elevator’s 1980’s “Hovair” people mover that I found and photographed in 2014.

While researching this site the other day for the blog here, I initially thought it was Otis Elevator’s “Winterization” test track – but upon further investigation of a circa 1982 US DOT report the track layout for the winter testing was different…

From a scan of a 1982 US DOT report on the Otis Elevator people mover.

So this got me curious if I could find the “Winterization” test track, and if so would any of it still be viewable…

The answer to both questions is “yes”.

A circa 2020 satellite image of the winterization test track east of Denver.

So, having found it in Google Earth, this meant I needed to head out there and have a look. But the access road to get to the site is definitely ‘unimproved’ – fortunately my roommate has a Jeep…

Some off-roading and mud-bogging later and we arrived at the site.

The site is fenced off by new three-strand barbed wire, and I tend to be respectful of fences, so the photos are from as close as I could get…

Where the station building and control buildings were located.

The western loop of the test track.

A closeup of the track itself. The power rail for the people mover would have been on the inside edge of the track, and the channel in the middle of the track was where the metal rail for the linear motor used to be.

The eastern loop of the test track.

All in all it was a nice day to be out and about, and I got to find and photograph some cool Jetsons Tech from the late 70’s / early 80’s.