China unveils World’s first train that runs on Virtual Tracks

Jun 22, 2017 09:33 IST

China has unveiled the world's first ‘railless train’ that runs on a virtual track making use of a sensor technology instead of metal rails.

This Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) has been developed by China's CRRC Zhuzhou Institute. It is a part of China's attempts to develop an ‘intelligent rail express system’.  The company also makes key parts for high-speed railways.

China unveils world’s first ‘railless’ train

Special features

• The 30-metre long train at present has three carriages and can carry around 300 passengers.

• The number of carriages can be increased in the future, taking the total capacity up to 500 passengers.

• The train is fitted with sensors that allow it to detect the dimensions of the roads and plan its own route without the need for metal railway tracks.

• Further, it has rubber wheels, which can be automatically guided without rails. 

• The train is also non-polluting and environment friendly, as it is battery powered.

• While it can travel a distance of 25 km by just charging for 10 minutes, on a full charge, it can travel for distances up to 40 km.

• It is capable of moving at a maximum speed of 70 km/hr. 

• It will be launched out for public use in 2018 in the Chinese city of Zhuzhou to help deal with the traffic in the area. 

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Overall, the cost of the new train is only a fifth of the price of a traditional subway system and its lifespan is expected to be around 25 years. China plans to build a 6.5 km long ART line through the Chinese city of Zhuzhou for this new train and operations for the same are expected to start in 2018. 

Besides this, China is also testing a bus that can move while straddling the road, allowing the traffic to pass under it. 

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