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String Transport or Yunitskiy String Transport is a concept of an elevated transportation system using two "strings" or tracks with a wheeled vehicle riding on them. It is designed for both freight and passengers was conceived by Russian inventor Anatoly Yunitskiy.
In 2008 the pilot route in Khabarovsk was planned. But specialists of Moscow State University of Railway Engineering gave a negative assessment of the project and it was not implemented. In 2013 more research revealed the feasibility of the use of String Transport Systems for passenger rail in New South Wales.
In 2016 the Expert Council under the Russian Ministry of Transport acknowledged SkyWay string technology as innovative. A prototype project called EcoTechnoPark, showcasing the technology, is currently being built in the town ofMaryina Horka, Belarus (Eastern Europe) and is due for completion in 2017.
The way design is based upon the use of strings built with high-tensioned steel wires inserted into a concrete/resin core and enveloped within a steel shell. It differs from traditional cable ropeways by using a perfectly flat rolling way to limit the wear, rolling resistance and noise. The functions dedicated to rope tension and rolling way are handled by separate parts. Low span intervals (~50m) coupled with tension much higher than common ropeway allow for low sag, permitting high speed operation.
The string attachments are fixed and there is no tensioning system. The steel thermal expansion over the seasons is absorbed by the modification of the tension stress in the string. As such there are no junction gaps in the rail except for switches, which are built similarly to railway switches. According to inventors, the system can utilize the most direct possible route, but it is possible to create curves by using intermediate supports which locally replace the string with steel structures.
String vehicles are called "unibus", "unicar", "unitruck" and "unibike" by analogy with conventional transport. Creation of string transport is conducted by SkyWay Companies Group. It carries out design and development of the following types of string transport:
- high-speed transport;
- urban transport;
- cargo transport;
Proof of concept
- Industrial samples of urban unibus and unibike were revealed at trade fair Innotrans 2016 for the first time.
- The first test model built in 2001, which was created with a tube supported with a wire rope and spreaders, unlike the monolithic string as proposed now, have proven that there is no loss of traction, even under icy conditions.
- Miscellaneous models were built either with one or two strings. The dynamic and wind behaviour was tested by using a single-string 1/10 scale model in 2006-2007.
- Fatigue handling of the rail, which is an integral part of the string is being studied. As for pre- or post-tensioned beams mixing steel and concrete, fatigue studies are also being carried out. The designer proposes low overall fatigue, considering that the variation of the string tension due to vehicle weight is relatively low.
Notes and references
- "Memorandum United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) by Brian Williams HSO, Shelter Branch/Infrastructure Section about Project FS-RUS-98-S01 "Sustainable development of human settlements and improvement of their communication infrastructure through the use of String Transportation System"". Unitsky String Technologies. www.yunitskiy.com. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
- "Coordinating Working Group was set up to implement the project of the UN Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) No. FS-RUS-02-S03 "Provision of Sustainable Development of Human Settlements and Urban Environment Protection through the Use of the String Transportation System"" (PDF). Unitsky String Technologies. www.yunitskiy.com. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
- Hargraves, Aaron James. "A Feasibility Study into the use of String Transport Systems for Passenger Rail in New South Wales" (PDF). School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the University of New South Wales. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
- "The Expert Council of the Russian Ministry of Transport oacknowledged SkyWay string technology as innovative" (PDF). Innovation and public procurement (website of Ministry of Transport of Russia). Ministry of Transport of Russia. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
- "The Expert Council under the Ministry of transport of the Russian Federation acknowledged SkyWay string technology as innovative (in English)" (PDF). Official website of SkyWay group of companies. www.rsw-systems.com. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
- "What is EcoTechnoPark". SkyWay official website. SkyWay. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
- "History of the technology". Skyway Australia. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
- "EcoTechnoPark preparatory work has begun". YouTube. SkyWay (official youtube channel). Retrieved 28 August 2016.
- "What happens in EcoTechnoPark on 16 March 2016". YouTube. SkyWay (official youtube channel).
- "Another Week In Belarus". Linkedin. Rod Hook. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
- "Types of SkyWay String Transport". SkyWay: information about innovative transport technology. sky-way.tech. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
- "SkyWay Technology". Official site of SkyWay group of companies. rsw-systems.com. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
- "SkyWay rolling stock is shown to the public for the first time". SkyWay official website. SkyWay. Retrieved 21 September 2016.