Qingdao monorail will be the first for commercial use

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A “Sky train” starts testing in Qingdao, Shandong province, July 20, 2017. [Photo/Chinanews.com]

China’s first commercial suspended monorail, known as the “sky train”, has been rolled out by its manufacturer in Qingdao, Shandong province.

Its design and development used many advanced technologies, making it not only a new style of rail transport but also a new tourist attraction, said its manufacturer CRRC Qingdao Sifang Co.

The train was designed as part of a sightseeing tourism project for China Optics Valley in Wuhan, Hubei Province. Delivery work and the debugging process are underway, said CRRC Qingdao Sifang, a subsidiary of state-owned China Railway Rolling Stock Corp.

Different from traditional modes of transportation, the train can “fly” through the sky with its steel track above it.

It has both transportation and tourism functions with many advantages such as small floor space, low cost, short construction period, strong environmental adaptability, safety, environmental friendliness and a beautiful landscaping effect, the company added.

Liu Yuwen, deputy director of the company’s technology center, said the train, named Guanggu Guangzi, adopted several advanced technologies that make the vehicle smart and low-carbon.

The train is completely autonomous, meaning it can start, stop, open and close the doors on its own, without manual operation, Liu said, adding that onboard staff only had to to deal with emergencies.

The vehicle also uses an advanced shock absorption system to bring its stability up to international standards, according to Liu.

Its low-carbon technology includes an energy-saving permanent magnet motor, lightweight material, and variable-frequency air conditioner to reduce power consumption.

Additionally, a host of technologies have been employed to keep the train safe, and in the event of a power failure, it can be driven to the nearest station by its own supercapacitor.

Liu said the sky train demonstrates an effective way of designing urban space, which can relieve traffic pressure and provide magnificent panoramic views.

“The floors of each car on the train are designed as transparent windows that allow the vehicle to have a 270-degree view, providing passengers with a top-notch driving experience,” Liu added.

According to CRRC Qingdao Sifang, the train has a maximum speed of 70 km/h and can accommodate more than 200 passengers.

The train will run on the Optics Valley Central Ecological Corridor Scenic Route, which is 26.7 km long. The first phase of the project is 10.5 km and has six stations, according to the company.

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