I first read about SkyWay transport in the 80-ies in a popular journal “Technology for the Youth”. The futuristic image outlined by the young designer Anatoly Yunitskiy fascinated: a general planetary system, a great transport ring, space stations...
It seemed that after forty years the daring ideas would come true and change the world. Forty years later, in Moscow, at an exhibition I came across a trailer that said “Yunitskiy String Transport". Was it really the same person?..
I came nearer and started to ask. I found out that “Yunitskiy himself would come soon and explain everything”. I have even got excited, because I would see the designer, whose articles were my favorite in my childhood. A few minutes later a gray-haired man with young and lively eyes came and easily invited me into the cozy trailer. Looking through illustrated booklets, I gently remarked: your dream has come true, you’ve been waiting for this event for a long time…
― I have not been waiting, ― says Anatoly. ― It was Ilya Muromets (fairy-tale character) who has been waiting and I have been working. Forty years, from conception to implementation. It is a small period for transport. For example, seven hundred years have passed for the idea of a bridle for a horse to get its widespread implementation, and one thousand years ― for the saddle. Well, you can compare...
RAILS AND SUPPORTS ― THAT’S THE WHOLE ROUTE
Yunitskiy has more than 140 inventions and 250 scientific papers. To create string transport “EcoTechnoPark” was opened in Belarus, where you can see the real implementation of former sketches and drawings. According to the designer, about three kilometers of test tracks have been built, one more line of 21 km distance will be for high-speed transport and land acquisition for it is in process now.
― We plan to get there the speed of up to 500 kilometers per hour, ― says Anatoly Yunitskiy. ― It is a fundamentally new mode of transport, without a solid roadbed. The movement of the main wheel will go on two string rails, very narrow ones, with low material consumption. The cost of overpasses is 10-20 times less than that in traditional ones; they are lightweight, slim, producing no shadow. The whole track are rails of this size (he shows a strip of 3-4 cm thickness. ― Author’s note) and supports installed at five kilometers span. It’s not the bridges that shade the sky and need to use thousands of tons of metal and concrete.
To avoid thermal deformation, the rails are stretched like strings. Fundamentally new solutions were developed for overpasses and the wheel pair. We have designed a cargo version with the capacity of rolling stock up to 20,000 tons, and the passenger version is going to be very cost effective. As the inventor says, similar to an elevated subway, it may run with an interval of two seconds. The design speed is 150 kilometers per hour; it is less costly by one hundred times.
PERMAFROST WON’T MELT WITH THESE PILES
According to Yunitskiy’s estimates, string transport can be build on any territory including the Arctic Zone. The low windage of structures and cold-resistant grades of steel will help to solve the problem of polar winds and low temperatures.
― For example, it is even easier to build in your Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, because it’s easier to install piles, to drill them in winter into the permafrost, than to build them in a bog in Belarus.
In addition, according to the designer, the string route will be much more durable in the Arctic Zone than under usual conditions.
― It is impossible to build traditional routes in the Arctic Zone, because in summer everything melts and everything sinks into the soil. We can make such piles that the cold will be transferred to the soil and ice will freeze on, therefore, it will not melt in summer, ― says the designer.
In a demo film electric vehicles on steel wheels are moving on string rails that have a tenfold margin of strength, the distance between supports is from 400 meters to five kilometers. Yunitskiy’s transport has many advantages, but the main one is eco-friendliness.
― The territory equal to five UKs is buried under asphalt and railway sleepers. That land is dead, it does not breathe. However, we can free these areas and return them to landholders ― says Yunitskiy confidently.
ACCELERATION WILL BE OFFERED TO REGIONS
To implement his ideas, the entire transport industry should be rebuilt, and such processes are usually very slow. Last year Yunitskiy’s project was recognized as innovative in Russia and it opens up great opportunities.
― When we pass certification, we will be able to participate in tenders and to offer our project in various regions of the Russian Federation, ― he says.
So far, all attempts to create vehicles of the future lost to conservative and proven subway and railroads. In the 60-ies there were calculations on a monorail route in Kamchatka with a length of 500 kilometers, and a polar monorail Norilsk ― Salekhard. The projects remained only on paper. In Moscow they have built a monorail road, but subsequently it was acknowledged ineffective. In 2018 it will be partially dismantled, only a part of it will be left for tourists... Experts should estimate how profitable 40-year-old “strings” will be. There are still enough skeptics, however now they have something to look at and to ride in at Minsk Technopark.
STRING TRANSPORT NEEDS CERTIFICATION
“Krasny Sever” found out that the creator of string transport proposed the Yamal profile Agency to study his project and, possibly, to implement it. What did the experts decide?
According to the press secretary of the regional Department of transport and roads Alexander Pavlik, the experts did not approve the idea of the Belarusian designer. Their brief conclusion was: “Expensive and inefficient for the Arctic region”.
― All the same that Yunitskiy offers can be done using the available transport infrastructure and at a considerably less cost. Therefore, there is no need to build a new one. In addition, this system is only a prototype. Nothing will be done until it passes the appropriate certification in Federal Agencies, ― they explained in the Department.
As regards the innovative transport in general, the regional program does not provide for the implementation of it in Yamal so far.
Author – Andrey Korikov, Krasny Sever, email@example.com (in Russian)
Important! Since the above meeting of the author of these lines until their publication there have been received certificates confirming technical features of string transport rolling stock and its parts. Certificates were issued for unibus model U4-210 and unibike model U4-621.