If only you could combine a bus with a train. Oh! The places you would go. Now, the world’s first dual-mode vehicle was unveiled in Kaiyo town in Tokushima prefecture in Japan on Saturday, according to the Japan Times. In addition, to attract tourism, the vehicle will help ferry-parts of population that are in hard-to-reach areas.
The project was slow in coming. “It took about 10 years to launch (the DMV service). I am full of enthusiasm,” said Kaiyo Mayor Shigeki Miura, who is also president of Asa Coast Railway, the company responsible for the engineering of the DMV vehicle.
How does the new vehicle work? It works with normal rubber tires on road, but uses steel wheels to navigate railways tracks. These wheels descend from under belly of the vehicle whenever it is time to hit a rail track. The complete transformation from car to train takes just 15 seconds.
The bus / train combination can accommodate up to 21 passengers and reach speeds of 60 km/h (37 mph) on rail & 100 km / h on road. It is powered by a diesel power.
“This (DMV) can reach locals (like a bus) and even carry them on the railroad,” Shigeki Miura, managing director of the Asa Coast Railway, told Reuters. “Especially in rural areas with an aging population, we expect this to be a great form of public transport.
The vehicles are available in a variety of colors and are designed to service the coast of Shikoku Island in southern Japan. In addition, to connect isolated areas, the DMVs will offer beautiful sceneries for passengers to admire.
The vehicle is a perfect example of what the future of trains could be & could soon be adopted in other parts of the world if this model works well.