UST Inc. presents the first transport and infrastructure complex for commercial operation
The international engineering company Unitsky String Technologies Inc. has reached the final implementation stage of its first project intended for commercial use. The “uLite” transport and infrastructure complex has already been built on the territory of the Aquarelle Ecopark (Maryina Gorka, Belarus). Currently it is put into operation as a cargo transport system, however a number of measures are being taken to change the complex’s purpose to both passenger and cargo.
Purpose and technical features
The uST transport and infrastructure solution being both compact and cost effective will ensure fulfillment of the social and economic tasks of the ecopark, such as the transportation of visitors and employees, as well as cargo of the suburban complex over an area of 168 hectares, along with their delivery to recreational areas, lake shores, zoo, and other facilities. At the initial stage, the rolling stock will provide transportation of goods. In the future, it is planned to change the purpose of the complex from cargo to both cargo and passenger with a safety justification and obtaining the relevant permits.
The transport and infrastructure complex with a length of 1,120 m consists of two stations, a flexible string rail track structure, four intermediate supports (with one of them being rotary), an automated control system and a uPod rolling stock called uLite that gives the name to the whole complex.
• An unmanned electric vehicle on combined wheels can move along a string rail overpass at a height of 10 m and at a speed of up to 80 km/h.
• The uPod is designed to carry 6 people or transport 450 kg of cargo.
• The performance of such a complex (with an increase in the number of uPods) can reach 10,000 passengers or 1,000 tons of cargo per day.
Rolling stock and a string rail overpass require minimal implementation costs. Like other uST solutions, with equal performance, by its technical and economic indicators the complex significantly surpasses cable cars, as well as overhead railway and other relevant transport alternatives in the overpass design.
The project launch is a defining event in the history of UST Inc. For the first time, the complex was implemented not just for testing and demonstration purposes, but for use in the commercial sphere, said Nadezhda Kosareva, the General Director of Unitsky String Technologies Inc.: “This project allowed us to gain experience in passing the full cycle of the uST complex being implemented for commercial use: from design to commissioning.”
The uLite complex can be used for cargo and passenger transportation in various circumstances:
• in regions with difficult terrain, water barriers, mountain gorges and other natural obstacles (with spans of up to 1 km or more);
• in areas with strict environmental requirements;
• in the closed territories of resort areas, historical sites, health complexes, where the movement of ground transport is restricted;
• for the delivery of passengers to railway stations, ports and airports on the “last mile”.
Advantages of the complex
The least expensive version of the uST complex was built in just six months. During its construction, a landless installation with local approaches from the ground near anchoring structures and supporting towers was used. This method of construction is cost effective, as it does not require large-scale earthworks. In addition, the complex has a number of competitive advantages.
• Environmental friendliness
Light openwork supports are located 250 m away from each other, with the stations placed on the edges of the track. With the total complex area of 0.5 hectares, less than 0.1 hectares were spent on supports and stations for which the land was alienated. Thus, the string rail overpass does not violate the natural terrain, preserves the landscape and fertile soil, as well as the biodiversity of the surrounding area.
The complex is characterized by low construction costs due to the insignificant number of expensive components in the structure, as well as by low operating costs due to low electricity consumption. For example, its power consumption at a speed of 50 km/h is 4.5 kWh per 100 km, while conventional fuel consumption is 1.1 l per 100 km.
The tracks are located on the second level above ground, so the risk of collisions with foreign objects is minimized. The uLite operation is controlled by a complex of security systems and an automated control system. In addition, there’s a dispatcher who monitors the situation.
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