It’s a bus, it’s a train, it’s a DMV! The world’s first dual-mode vehicle, as comfortable on the road as it is on the rail, is set to make its public debut on Saturday in the town of Kaiyo, in Japan’s Tokushima prefecture.
The DMV looks like a minibus and rolls on normal rubber tires on the road. But when it arrives at an interchange, steel wheels descend from the belly of the vehicle onto the railroad tracks, transforming it into a train car.
The train wheels lift the front tires off the track while the rear wheels stay down to propel the DMV onto the tracks.
The CEO of Asa Coast Railway, which operates the DMVs, said the vehicles could help small towns like Kaiyo with an aging and shrinking population, where local transport companies are struggling to make a profit.
“This (DMV) can reach locals (like a bus) and also transport them on the railroad,” CEO Shigeki Miura told Reuters on Friday. “Especially in rural areas with an aging population, we expect this to be a very good form of public transport.”
The DMV can carry up to 21 passengers and travel at a speed of 60 km / h (37 mph) on railroad tracks and can go up to about 100 km / h (62 mph) on public roads, Asa said. Coast Railway.
Powered by diesel, the small fleet of vehicles, in different colors, will crisscross part of the coast of Shikoku Island in southern Japan, connecting several small towns and providing passengers with attractive seaside landscapes.
Miura said he hopes the project will encourage railroad fans from all over Japan to visit.
(This story was not edited by DAILYNEWSCATCH staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)