Japan is now introducing a Dual-mode vehicle, DMV for short, through the Asa Seaside Railway. This locomotive can transform from a wheel operating mode into a train in just mere 15 seconds. The ‘mode interchange’ is reversed when the vehicle returns to the road. Steel wheels retract, so that rubber tires take the lead.
The DMV is capable of driving with up to 23 people. It measures eight meters (26ft) and is approximately 8 meters long. It is significantly lighter than regular train carriages, at 5,850kg (5.85 tons).
It can travel at 60kmph (37mph) on tracks but can travel faster on roads depending on speed limits.
And to make it a memorable opening day, the vehicle will be conducting its travels on the Christmas Day! It will connect the Tokushima, Kochi, and Shikoku prefectures. The route of the DMV starts from the Awaka Bunka Mura in Toushima and ends within Kochi prefecture in Umi no Eki Toromu. The routes also include beaches and a small town of Kaiyo and some more sightseeing locations.
The Asa Seaside Railway Company is only starting its operation with three DMV’s of color red, green and blue, respectively. The Tokushima administration owns 35% of the Asa Seaside Railways. They hope that such a unique form of transportation will help attract tourists and improve the local economy badly affected by the pandemic.
The DMV is not only for tourists, though, as the company hopes it will improve local transport and help, especially to the elderly. A statement from Asa Seaside Railways reads: ‘The DMV is the “world’s first vehicle” that can run on both tracks and roads, making local transport more convenient. ‘
Also read about Dual Bus-Train Vehicle To Start Operating In Shikoku Islands