We have seen from the HS2 project that the development of railway systems can be a very costly exercise. However, there are also less costly approaches in development. Although not ideal for longer distance travel, these "simpler" rail solutions can enable public transport solutions to be planned and implemented at a much lower cost than traditional rail systems.
One example of this is the Coventry Very Light Rail (CVLR) project. This system has been successfully trialled at the Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre in Dudley, and utilises battery-powered vehicles on thinner-than-normal rails that can be laid just 30cm deep into the road surface. As explained in the article below from RailUK, this avoids the costly requirement to divert sub-terrainian utilities, as they will be typically deeper than that.
This project is being backed by the Department for Transport, and shows that many different technologies are being considered for the public transport solutions of the future. Many of these are zero or low carbon solutions, and help move the transport industry towards its net zero targets. For example, this system's battery-powered vehicles can remove the need for expensive electrification of the entire line, and can utilise green electricity for charging its batteries. Other solutions under development include hydrogen powered locomotives, using fuel cell technologies.
Marks & Clerk's transport team has a wealth of experience in assisting innovators of these various kinds of technology, and we look forward to assisting you on your next project.
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The battery-powered vehicle and revolutionary track system will offer cities the chance to install rapid passenger tram systems faster and at a much lower cost than traditional light rail systems.
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