Technology

uST Transport and Infrastructure Solutions based on the company’s patented engineering and know-how are characterized by high efficiency and minimal impact on the environment, as well as unprecedented reliability and safety in the transportation of passengers and cargo.

Key elements of the uST technology

uST Transport and Infrastructure Solutions are based on the technology of creating pre-stressed transport overpasses of a new generation, where the string rail is a key element. Such a rail is a steel or composite beam containing in its core a bundle of wires (strings) pre-stressed by tension and equipped with a rail head, along which passenger and cargo electric vehicles on steel wheels — uPods — move automatically at speeds up to 150 km/h (up to 500 km/h in the future).

Steel wheel:

  • differences from railway wheel pair: independent suspension, cylinder-shaped wheel supporting surface, flat rail working surface
  • 99,8% efficiency
  • no slipping in the contact patch
  • insignificant contact stress (about 200 Mpa)
  • minor wheel rolling resistance
  • symmetrical rail head wear

String rail:

  • absence of joints and temperature seams
  • high track evenness
  • comfort and smooth running
  • high movement speed
  • minimum material consumption

Steel wheel

Steel rail head

String (a bundle of pre-stressed by tension steel cords)

Special filler

Rail body

  • 1. Steel wheel
  • 2. Steel rail head
  • 3. String (a bundle of pre-stressed by tension steel cords)
  • 4. Special filler
  • 5. Rail body

The string rail track structure replicates the hanging bridge combining all of its primary components

String rail:

Support saddle

Rail body
(stiffening beam)

Suspension
(special filler)

String
(load-bearing cable)

Support

20 cm

20 cm

  • 1. Rail body (stiffening beam)
  • 2. Suspension (special filler)
  • 3. Support saddle
  • 4. String (load-bearing cable)
  • 5. Support

Suspension bridge:

Load-bearing cable

Suspension

Support saddle

Stiffening beam

Support

15 m

15 m

  • 1. Stiffening beam
  • 2. Suspension
  • 3. Support saddle
  • 4. Load-bearing cable
  • 5. Support

The horizontal load in the overpass (about a thousand tons, which, for example, is two orders of magnitude less than in hanging bridges) is taken by anchoring structures installed at a distance of up to 10 kilometers from each other. They can be combined with various purpose buildings, including passenger stations, cargo terminals and commercial premises. Supporting towers take up little vertical load, which eliminates the need to make them so massive and install them as often as in conventional elevated motor and rail roads or monorail systems. The spans without supports in uST can reach 2000 meters. This is important when crossing water barriers, passing over gorges, areas with residential or industrial buildings, lines of energy and transport communications, etc. Features of the prestressed structure and elimination of solid roadbed made it possible to reduce the material consumption and cost of string rail transport overpasses by an order of magnitude compared to traditional beam overpasses used in the construction of roads, railways and monorails.

The string rail track, pointwise installed on openwork supports, keeps the land intact, does not violate the established temperature regimes of permafrost, does not block the migration paths of animals and the movement of ground and surface waters. At the same time, a high level of safety is ensured by lifting the rolling stock to the second level above the ground, where there is absolutely no chance of a collision with moving objects located on the surface of the earth — cars, special and agricultural machinery, pedestrians, domestic and wild animals.

The uST transport overpass is resistant to frost (up to -60 °C), heat (up to +60 °C), snow drifts, river floods, earthquakes, storm winds, tsunamis and other extreme impacts, including vandalism and terrorist attacks, if such incidents are included in the project as possible with a probability of “1 time in 100 years”.

uCars in an electronic coupling (Maryina Gorka, Belarus, 2021)

Competitive advantages

  • Average capital expenses (CAPEX)*
  • Travel speed in urban modes of transport*
  • Comparison of carrying capacity of different modes of transport complexes

CAPEX $ mln/km

Monorail
Light rail transport
Ropeway
Metro
High-speed tram
High-speed railway transport
uST
25
50
75
100
125
150
175
200

* depends on the country of implementation and technical and economic indicators of the project (from open sources of information in average prices as of 01.07.2022)

Speed Average/Maximum, km/h

Ropeway
High-speed tram
Monorail
Light rail transport
Metro
uST
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160

* based on public sources

Passengers per hour

Ropeway
High-speed tram
Monorail
Light rail transport
Metro
uST
10 000
20 000
30 000
40 000
50 000

* based on public sources

Comparison with different modes of urban transport

Passenger transport

uST
Ropeway
150 km/h
Maximum travel speed
40 km/h
$ 8–15 mln/km
CAPEX
$ 15–25 mln/km
Up to 50 000 passengers/hour
Carrying capacity
2 000 passengers/hour
Unlimited
Track length
Up to 10 km
Turning capability
Unmanned steel-wheeled transport
Movement principle
External motor drives the rope and cabins
Track structure — 50-100 years,
rolling stock — 25 years
Life time
Complete replacement is required every 6-8 years
Possibility to extend transport network
uST
Metro
150 km/h
Maximum travel speed
80 km/h
$ 8–15 mln/km
CAPEX
$ 200–500 mln/km
Up to 50 000 passengers/hour
Carrying capacity
Up to 50 000 passengers/hour
Steel-wheeled electric car
Movement principle
Electrical underground railroad
An individual second-level track is integrated into urban development
Structural complexity
An individual track in an underground tunnel, underground stations
From 20 s
Travel interval
From 1 min
Low
OPEX
High
uST
Light rail transport
150 km/h
Maximum travel speed
80 km/h
$ 8–15 mln/km
CAPEX
$ 50–100 mln/km
Up to 50 000 passengers/hour
Carrying capacity
Up to 20 000 passengers/hour
Steel-wheeled electric car
Movement principle
A type of railway transport with reduced dimensions and carrying capacity
From 20 s
Travel interval
From 1 min
uST
Monorail
150 km/h
Maximum travel speed
80 km/h
$ 8–15 mln/km
CAPEX
$ 60–150 mln/km
Up to 50 000 passengers/hour
Carrying capacity
Up to 11 000 passengers/hour
Steel-wheeled electric car
Movement principle
Overpass-type transport on pneumatic tires or steel wheels
From 20 s
Travel interval
From 3 minutes
Track structure — 50-100 years,
rolling stock — 25 years
Life time
Track structure — 50 years,
rolling stock — 10-15 лет
Possibility to extend transport network

Cargo transport

uST
Narrow-gauge railway
NGR
Up to 150 km/h
Maximum travel speed
30 km/h — empty stock,
10 km/h — loaded stock
$ 8–15 mln/km
CAPEX
$ 5–10 mln/km
Automated control system
Control principle
Human intervention is required (route crew, several shifts of motormen)
Track structure — 50-100 years,
rolling stock — 25 years
Life time
Requires frequent rail replacement
Minimum environmental hazard during construction and operation of the track structure
Sustainability
Significant landscape changes in the terrain during the construction of the road
Electric energy
Power source
Diesel
uST
Railway transport
Up to 150 km/h
Maximum travel speed
Up to 90 km/h
$ 8–15 mln/km
CAPEX
$ 8–12 mln/km
Automated control system
Control principle
Human intervention is required (several shifts of motormen)
Low
Noise level
High
Minimum environmental hazard during construction and operation of the track structure
Sustainability
Significant landscape changes in the terrain during the construction of the road
uST
Ropeway
Up to 150 km/h
Maximum travel speed
Up to 30 km/h
Unlimited
Track length
Up to 10 km
Turning capability
Steel-wheeled electric car
Movement principle
External motor drives the rope and cabins
Track structure — 50-100 years,
rolling stock — 25 years
Life time
Complete replacement is required every 6-8 years
Possibility to extend transport network