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Bishan Sky Shuttle Line Marks New Era in Smart Light Rail Transport

By James AlexanderICHONGQING|May 29,2020

Chongqing- Chongqing Bishan District has produced a ‘hardcore’ solution to achieving efficient, high-quality development whilst balancing the need to restart production under the pandemic. On May 29, the ‘Yunba (Sky Shuttle)’ Demonstration Line was unveiled in Bishan, denoting a new milestone in rail transportation.

In August 2019, construction began of the 15.4km line which starts at Bishan High-speed Railway Station, and terminates at Bishan Station of Metro Line 1, with a total of 15 elevated stations along the route. The new line is projected to open in September 2020 and will have a maximum capacity of 10,000 passengers per hour, and operate at speeds up to 80km/h.

As an important node in the Chendu-Chongqing Economic Circle, the Yunba project will serve to place Bishan firmly on the axis between these key cities, achieve greater urbanization, and ultimately integrate into the greater Chongqing Urban Area.

The unique geographical position, potential for development, enterprise-friendly environment, and a wealth of attractions make Bishan a prime area to welcome visitors and businesses alike. When the Yunba line officially opens, the newly found closeness to both Chongqing and Chengdu will offer great benefits to the high-quality development of the area, as well as greater convenience to local residents.

Yunba is a small-capacity rail transit system developed entirely using independent intellectual property rights. The project has taken the developer BYD 7 years and costs nearly 10 billion yuan. Yunba is equipped with many high-tech configurations such as an unmanned driving system, automatic positioning and scheduling, facial recognition, and smart ticket inspection. The system will operate with minimal investment in manpower or resources for maintenance.

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A computer-generated image of the Sky Shuttle Yunba light rail train.

It also has a gentle turn radius, strong climbing ability (Up to 12%), and comes with the added benefits of low noise, high safety, low construction costs, and a short construction period. When the line opens, this upgrade in urban transportation will offer passengers a smarter, more comfortable, and convenient travel experience.

Unlike the medium to large traffic volumes of the subway and light rail lines, Yunba offers small-volume rail transit which organically connects with various traffic arteries to form a contiguous urban transportation network, effectively solving the short-haul travel needs of inner-city micro-circulation.

The Yunba light rail line is currently undergoing testing in Bishan District and is forecast to officially open in September 2020

Yunba is also an environmentally friendly addition to the transport network. It runs completely on electricity, and so operates efficiently without pollution and exhaust emissions. It also has the design advantages of low vibration and noise.

This new mode of travel will undoubtedly bring new inspiration to cities around the world.

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