All aboard, the sky train is on its way! The world’s first electric suspension railway has been set up in preparation for a trial run along an experimental rail line in southwest China’s Chengdu, and promises great views across the city.
The line, with a planned length of 1.25 kilometers, will test how the train performs when faced with climbs and bends. The train can travel at speeds of up to 60 km/h, and each carriage can potentially hold 120 passengers.
Suspension railways date back almost 200 years, with cities like Memphis, Dortmund and Chiba all home to suspended monorail systems. However, China's panda-shaped design will be the first lithium battery-charged suspension train in the world, and will have an estimated cruise time ranging from 2 to 4 hours per charge.
With congested traffic an increasingly serious urban malaise, China has stepped up its efforts in seeking public transportation alternatives. One of the most creative designs which recently made waves when it was unveiled in east China’s Qinhuangdao city in August was the transit elevated bus that can travel above traffic.
But do innovative projects like the suspension railway and the transit elevated bus hold the keys to the future of transport in cities?