World’s First Vertically Movable Mini-tram Developed in Korea
An unmanned mini-tram that can move up and down by an elevator has been developed in Korea for the first time in the world. This can be usefully deployed in places where short intervals between trains are required and there are multiple destinations for passengers, such as large shopping malls, transit transfer centers and airports. The Korea Railroad Research Institute held on November 27 the first pilot run for the mini-tram at its head office in Euiwang in the southern outskirts of Seoul. The six-seater battery-operated tram can travel up to 50 kilometers an hour along the magnet-laid rail. Once a passenger presses the call-up button at the station, the tram will come pick up the passenger to take her to the desired destination along the optimal route indicated by the GPS. The central control center makes sure the trains can be run smoothly without colliding with each other. According to an institute’s official, the tram can come in handy in small residential towns and areas in which connecting means of transportation are needed. As the tram is small sized, it costs less to build and maintain. Currently similar trams are under deployment in London’s Heathrow Airport and Masdar City Airport in Abu Dhabi. The institute aims to commercialize the technology by 2016.