Mono­rail pro­to­type un­veiled

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By XIE CHUANJIAO in Qing­dao, Shan­dong xiechuan­jiao@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

IN­FRA­STRUC­TURE

Chi­nese rail car man­u­fac­turer CRRC Qing­dao Si­fang has un­veiled a pro­to­type of a mounted mono­rail train with a max­i­mum op­er­at­ing speed of 70 kilo­me­ters per hour, the fastest of its kind in China.

Driven by a high-ef­fi­ciency mag­net mo­tor, the ex­per­i­men­tal train runs along an over­head mono­rail.

The mounted mono­rail train is a ris­ing new mode of trans­porta­tion fea­tur­ing light weight, mod­er­ate speed and low man­u­fac­tur­ing cost.

Liu Yuwen, deputy head of the com­pany’s tech­nol­ogy cen­ter, said the train can com­prise three or five cars, with a pas­sen­ger ca­pac­ity of 300 to 510 peo­ple.

“The train has a strong climb­ing abil­ity, with a max­i­mum rise of 100 me­ters over a dis­tance of 1,000 me­ters,” Liu said. “The mounted mono­rail sys­tem is suit­able for pas­sen­ger trans­port in scenic ar­eas, moun­tain­ous re­gions and ur­ban ar­eas where road traf­fic is heavy.”

The train is built to the strictest Euro­pean safety stan­dards, with var­i­ous safety de­vices, in­clud­ing a who­le­train mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem that can help pas­sen­gers es­cape in the event of dan­ger.

The com­pany, based in Qing­dao, Shan­dong prov­ince, is un­der­tak­ing China’s first over­head mono­rail project in Hancheng, Shaanxi prov­ince. The con­struc­tion of the line, which is de­signed to stretch 55 kilo­me­ters, be­gan in Novem­ber.

Wang Meng­shu, a rail­way ex­pert and aca­demi­cian at the Chi­nese Academy of En­gi­neer­ing in Bei­jing, ap­plauded the break­through.

“Mounted mono­rail does not rely on land fa­cil­i­ties, and is even im­mune from bad weather such as a big snow­fall or frost. It should be an im­por­tant part of China’s ur­ban trans­porta­tion net­work,” Wang said.

More­over, it costs only about one-third of what a sub­way costs. Build­ing one kilo­me­ter of sub­way or light rail gen­er­ally costs 500 to 800 mil­lion yuan ($74 mil­lion to $118 mil­lion).

China plans to com­plete more than 2,500 kilo­me­ters of rail trans­porta­tion in ma­jor cities dur­ing the 13th Five-Year Plan (201620), at an es­ti­mated cost of 1 tril­lion yuan.

“If one-fifth of the in­vest­ment is put into mounted mono­rail projects, loads of money will be saved,” Wang said.

Xin­hua con­trib­uted to this story.

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