Sorry for delay in writing this- small computer problem. Will attempt tp do this in the order of the postings.
The two jet engines were General Electric J-47-19's as removed from a ten engine Convair B-36-H USAF intercontinental bomber. After the runs, the static tests at the Collinwood Back Shop and the press show in New york, the M-497 was taken to Beech Grove where it was "restored" to stock and placed into service in New York. The jet engines were placed into stores for snow blower service. I was also the project engineer on the development of the jet snow blowers.
The two Detroit Diesel propulsion engines engines were always kept in place to provide electrical power for the car and compressed air for braking. The drive shafts connecting the engines to the trucks were removed, however.
The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago requested the donation of the Budd for their collection. The NYC management turned down the request. NYC management had an unwritten policy about donationing equipment. They felt they would sell a given piece for the fair market value but to give it away would be against the best interests of the stockholders.
Relative to "flying off of the tracks"- a number of individual with no direct or technical knowledge of the project made some claims that we were "airborne" over road crossings. Patently false. The jet pod, housing the engines, was intentionally canted down 5 degrees to load the front truck of the car.
At Beech grove the streamlining was removed and scrapped. None of the Budd'd structure had been modified- the stremlining was installed on the existing structure. The streamlining was fabricated from sheet steel. As an aside, my wife, Ruth, a commercial artist, designed the streamlining.
Since I was the corporate pilot and a promoted locomotive engineer (off of the Big Four), I was the logical choice to run the M-497 during the tests. I also was the project engineer for the powerplants and controls.
Someone asked if my family had any worries- yes, indeed. They also asked about how it felt. Frankly, I was too busy keeping track of what was going on and keeping things under control to be consciously frightened. The engineers at the data stations were the people with courage because all they could do was sit and monitor the various readouts with a very limited view of what was happening outside. The crew cut off the horn rope off after the tests, inscribed it, and gave it to me because "you never let go of it during the whole run."
We did reach 196 MPH and were decelerating when we went through the timing traps. If I had known that management had decided to forgo going for the world record, 202 MPH. I would have let it run and broke the record. Being the second fastest (at that time) was alright, however. When you have the President of the railroad sitting next to you instucting you as to how fast you should go, it's hard to ignore his words.
I've tried to answer the questions- if anymore information is desired, please advise.