Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A new type of low-energy transpo system to be tested in Japan


Eco_Ride.jpgMany of you might know that trains are a major means of transportation in Japan. This train-like new type of transportation system however, isn't a train at all, but rather a roller coaster-like system which is low on energy consumption. Called the Eco Ride, it's a lightweight urban transpo system which test line would be constructed in Chiba Prefecture, Japan starting October, 2008.

According to Nikkei, Eco Ride resembles a roller coaster in that the railway features installed drive units at various points that pull the cars up to provide the needed energy. Eco Ride, which has a capacity of 2,000 to 2,500 passengers per hour and an average speed of 20-30km/h, uses an energy value of 226.8kJ per passenger-km which is reportedly half of that used by trains and a third of that used by buses. Aside from having the capacity to save energy though, construction could cost only US$18.2-22.7 million, which is 1/10th of the average costs for a small subway system.

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