• Japan launches road-rail bus

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by BandA
000000Interesting. This tech was previously piloted about 2014 by one of the JR railways. This time, Asa Coast Railway had three Toyota minibuses custom converted with the Hi-Rail type gear.

There is an on-demand video on NHK Tokyo app. It's basically a half-hour infomercial hosted by a Cathy Cat and some local professor, called Japan Railway Journal.

Switches modes in 15 seconds. Front end has steering locked, jacked up fifteen centimeters (about 6 inches). Back tires still touch the rails and provide the propulsion. They were required to beef up the Hi-Rail arm, isolate from the railroad due to lack of train control system, and build low-ADA type platforms. Driver/Motorman must have both train and bus licenses. Capacity looks like about 19 or so (+a wheelchair??). No way can these puppies be MU'd. Looks like a lot of sway in the highway suspension.
  by David Benton
Welcome to the worldwide forum, Flavio.

Banda, thanks for the additional info.
Seems to me there is a place for road rail services, particularly where the railway has an advantage, i.e a long tunnel or viaduct bypassing difficult terrain.
  by ExCon90
Deutsche Bundesbahn had some in revenue service in the 1950s but never expanded its use. Red Arrow (Philadelphia) tried an experimental one somewhat later on the Norristown line and found that rubber tire on steel rail had no traction in light snow or drizzle. (Unfortunately they found that out on the day of the press demonstration.) No question that there must be plenty of places where the concept would be ideal if they can get the bugs out.