Experiments in Japan with dual-mode vehicle (DMV) technology are yielding promising results. JR Hokkaido has been installing a dual wheel train-tyre system on microbuses so that they can be used as both road and light rail transport.The use of the vehicles on congestion-free railway tracks makes rail transport far more viable, with the cost of remodeling a microbus being approximately 10% ofthe cost for ordinary train cars and as weight is also around 10%, railway tracks require less maintenance. Commercial systems are planned for market by 2007.
Japanese experiment with combination bus/train
About the Author
Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks.All articles by Mike Hanlon