The world’s first dual-mode vehicle (DMV) is all set to make its public debut today in Japan. The dual-mode vehicle, which can run on wheels as well as on tracks with equal ease, has been developed and tested by the Asa Seaside Railway Corp in Japan’s Tokushima Prefecture.
The transition between bus and train by dual-mode vehicle
The dual-mode vehicle looks like a minibus and runs on normal rubber tyres on the road. But when it arrives at an interchange, a pair of wheels for train tracks emerge from under the vehicle in about 15 seconds effectively turning it into a train carriage, which is capable of running on train tracks with ease. The dual-mode vehicle has a seating capacity of up to 23 passengers.
The ASA Coast Railway said; “This (DMV) can reach the locals (as a bus), and carry them onto the railway as well. Especially in rural areas with an ageing population, we expect it to be a very good form of public transport. The DMV can carry up to 21 passengers and runs at a speed of 60km/h (37 mph) on rail tracks and can go as fast as around 100km/h (62 mph) on public roads.” The CEO added that these vehicles could help small towns like Kaiyo with an ageing and shrinking population, where local transport companies struggle to make a profit.
A project to attract tourists from Japan
The small fleet of vehicles, which come in different colours, is powered by diesel that runs along part of the coast of Shikoku island in southern Japan, connecting several small towns and offering passengers attractive seaside scenery. The project encourages railway fans from around Japan to visit and experience this one-of-its-kind dual-mode vehicle that can help generate good revenue for the country
Source: Japan Times