It's a Bus, It's a Train, It's Both

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January 6, 2022

Dual-Mode Vehicle A Japanese railway company has rolled out a bus-train hybrid vehicle to transport passengers on roads and railways. The Dual-Mode Vehicles (DMVs) first operated in Kaiyo in late December 2021, as a DMV in bus mode picked up 18 passengers and then changed to train mode in order to make the journey from southern Tokushima Prefecture to eastern Kochi Prefecture.

The diesel-powered vehicle looks like a bus, rolling on normal rubber tires while traveling on the road. In that mode, the steel train wheels rest inside the vehicle's undercarriage. Making the switch to train mode requires just 15 seconds. Top speed on roads is 62 mph; top speed on the rails is 37 mph. Maximum capacity per vehicle is 21 passengers.

The operator, Asa Coast Railway Company, is building a business upgrade using the DMVs, in hopes of improving the return on the existing train line, which runs along part of the coast of the island Shikoku. The idea is to improve transportation options for senior citizens and others who live in rural areas.

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Social Studies for Kids
copyright 2002–2021
David White

Social Studies for Kids
copyright 2002–2021
David White