CHINA: The Optics Valley Skyrail suspended monorail has opened in Wuhan, with glass-floored vehicles giving passengers a view downwards as well as sideways.
The 10·5 km first phase of the line, which is primarily aimed at tourists, runs from Jiufengshan in Jiufeng National Forest Park to Longquanshan.
Passenger services began on September 26, running every 10 min between 08.00 and 20.00. Operation is driverless, with a maximum speed of 60 km/h.
There are six stations, including interchanges with metro Line 11 at Gaoxin Boulevard and with tram Route 2 at Gaoxin Second Road. The guideway and stations were assembled from prefabricated components.
The Photon rubber tyre battery powered trainsets were supplied by CRRC Qingdao Sifang, which offers the design in two to six car formations with a maximum speed of 70 km/h.
The two-car sets for Wuhan have a capacity of 220 passengers. Designed for both commuting and sightseeing, the transparent viewing window in the floor and the conventional windows together provide a 270° view which the manufacturer says ‘will bring passengers a new riding experience’ with ‘flowing scenery in the air’.