Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a… panda? No, it’s China’s first suspension railway again!
After months of testing, Chengdu’s “sky train” has entered into trial operations. Truly, we live in the golden age of public transportation in China.
Each carriage can carry 120 passengers as it hangs upside-down and zips long the monorail track at speeds of up to 60 km/h. On Monday, lucky reporters and officials got to experience the quiet, not bumpy ride for themselves.
Back in September, China became just the third country in the world to “master” this kind of technology, after Germany and Japan, when its first “sky train” rolled off the assembly line in Nanjing — after they spent just 4 months designing and completing it. However, this train does have something that makes it different from the rest of the world’s suspension railways — it looks like a panda! In the future, all Chinese trains will be nicknamed “panda.”
Also, it runs on lithium batteries. Making it the world’s first battery-powered suspension railway. Yahoo!
Developers say that the “sky train” will be able to accommodate around 15,000 commuters each hour. Chengdu is planning two lines, one which will whisk travelers to various tourist sites around the city.
Considering that developers also say that these type of railways are cheaper, more environmentally-friendly and less time-consuming to build than traditional metros. Those lines should be done in no time.
In the meantime, see if you can catch a ride on the 1.25 kilometer trial track outside of the city.
We’ll be here waiting for the “straddling bus” to make its real trial run.
Chinese netizens are pretty excited to ride the new “sky train,” though they do have one small request.
“Can I make a suggestion? The floor of the carriages should be made out of glass!”
[Images via NetEase / ChinaNews]