Japan is no stranger to figuring out eco-friendly commuter methods, but they’ve come up with something that could be very neat. A test line is going up this October in Japan for the Eco Ride, a commuter train that uses the same principles as a roller coaster to get its passengers from stop to stop.
Basically, drive units are installed at points along the railway that will pull the cars up so that the Eco Ride can get the potential energy needed to run. The strategy reduces the size of the railroad, structures and stations, as well as the need for drive units on each car, and so the line can be built along the medians of expressways and sidewalks for a pretty low price.
The cars can pull up to 2,500 passengers each hour at a rate of about 20-30 km/h, and uses half the energy needed to run trains and a third of that needed to run busses. Sounds pretty great, but the test line will figure out if it is marketable. Considering the crazy-yet-cool stuff coming out of Japan, the novelty of it will probably find an audience.
written by Dur, August 25, 2008
written by NKJ, August 26, 2008
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