Transport science and technology journal has published the article about the advantages of passenger string transport

The UST (Unitsky String Transport) has become a promising mode of transport ready to carry out cargo and passenger transportation. It has been recognized as innovative by the Ministry of Transport of Russia in 2017.

Unmanned mounted and suspended vehicles with steel wheels are moved in it by electric traction along an uncut prestressed string-rail track structure. This technology is implemented by Unitsky String Technologies Inc. in EcoTechnoPark (Maryina Gorka, Republic of Belarus) and in the uSky Innovation Center (Sharjah, United Arab Emirates).

UST transport, including rolling stock in the form of electric rail vehicles on steel wheels, a string-rail prestressed overpass and second-level infrastructure (stations, terminals, depots, automated control system, power supply, communications, etc.) is characterized by high speed, comfort, safety, as well as low material consumption and high energy efficiency.

String transport is promising for a number of reasons:

• electricity is used as energy, not diesel, gasoline or other polluting fuel;

• low energy consumption by string vehicles due to the use of a pair of "steel wheel – steel rail" and high aerodynamic characteristics of the rolling stock, including the absence of an aerofoil effect;

• comparatively low consumption of construction materials for a transport overpass due to the pre-tension of the string rails and the uncut track structure along the length of the route (absence of deformation temperature seams);

• low consumption of structural materials for rolling stock due to the simplicity of the design of electric rail vehicles; the absence of massive drives, great frames, heavy running trolleys and wheel pairs it does not require large costs for their production;

• minimum amount of earthworks and pointwise land acquisition for the construction of lightly loaded (in comparison to traditional transport overpasses) supports of a delicate track structure;

• the land under the tracks can be used for the arrangement of parks, farming and other activities, because the track structure is located at any required height determined by the safety of this activity.

As the authors pointed out, cargo and passenger string transport is designed for intra-city transportation, for parks and recreation areas, for communications with satellite cities. UST transport for urban passenger transportation is represented by such vehicles as uniwind, unibike, unilite, unibus and unicar. They are developed in EcoTechnoPark, tested and certified at the two test sites mentioned above.

Uniwind is a monorail suspended light electric vehicle of small capacity, equipped with two seats. It is driven by a traction electric drive, which is powered by a contact network or an on-board energy storage device. It moves along a super-light string-rail overpass. Due to the maximum functional design, simplicity and low cost of manufacturing, minimal energy costs, uniwind is one of the most affordable solutions for arranging communications in sparsely populated and remote areas, as well as in areas with rough terrain. 

The modular design of this vehicle makes it possible not only to easily personalize the product in the form of a line of complete sets, but also to be supplied with several functional modules at once (cargo, passenger, cargo/passenger), while having only one traction module, which significantly increases the profitability of the system for small, but systematic and strategically important passenger transportation, taking into account the main cost of the vehicle (the cost of the control system and traction drive, which are structurally made in the traction module).

Unibike is a bi-rail, suspended, lightweight passenger electric vehicle. It combines the possibilities of a highly efficient small (individual) electric vehicle, second-level transport and a sports and entertainment facility. In addition to on-board (and external) energy sources, there is a bicycle generator, due to which the unibike can be driven by the muscular force of passengers. In the future, it is an alternative to a passenger car, bicycle, motorcycle.

Unilite is a vehicle moving along a monorail track structure at an altitude intended for certain categories of users with hobbies who want to spend active holidays outside the city, in nature. The users of the vehicle can be fishermen, skiers, golfers. Unilite accommodates up to 6 people, provides holders for fishing equipment, skis or golf. The vehicle can be made with or without seats.

Unibus is an electric passenger car with a capacity of 10 to 90 passengers, designed for driving on urban and suburban routes. Various versions of the vehicle are possible (mounted /suspended, monorail/bi-rail /quad-rail); the design and layout are determined by the specifics of the project and the wishes of the customer. 

Unibus can be single (such as a passenger car or bus), as well as in the form of a train with a different number and type of composite units connected to each other mechanically or electronically. This is an unmanned electric rail vehicle, which is controlled automatically without the presence of an operator in the vehicle. Unibus is designed for operation with outside storage. There are places for disabled people in the vehicle.

Unibus consists of a traction and passenger modules connected to each other. The traction module is designed to ensure the movement of the vehicle with the possibility of changing speed, direction and acceleration. The passenger module of the unibus has a dust-and-waterproof prefabricated structure, which includes: a body with an inner lining, seats and handrails, glazing, doors, rear fairing; equipment (components of the climate system, components of the lighting system, components of the sound and video information system, components of the duplex voice communication system, components of the control system, etc.). To ensure the proper comfort of unibus passengers, a suspension is used, including a guiding device, elastic and dissipative components.

Unicar is a bi-rail suspended electric vehicle for transporting passengers on a string-rail overpass. Compact and comfortable, it contributes to a significant unloading of city streets. Unicar is equipped only with seats. It will provide a more substantial carrying capacity of the transport system than the railway trains and buses with their impressive size, cost and holding capacity, which cannot follow each other with great frequency just because of their dimensions. Unicar is an unmanned vehicle, which is controlled automatically without the presence of a driver (operator), as in unibus.

Unicar is a composite vehicle, it has a modular design. A single electric car consists of an active transport module with front and rear fairings. Unicars can also be jointed with 3, 5 or 7 transport modules.

As the authors emphasized, UST string transport has all the necessary qualities of a transport and infrastructure complex of the future, capable of affecting the course of the development of civilization, as railway, aviation and automobile transport did at their time.

Read the original article on the link.

13 November 2021