Features, TECHNOLOGY

Russian string for Crete

Authorities of Crete currently review a proposal submitted by Sky Way Transport Canada Ltd on constructing an Elevated String Transport System between towns of Kissamos and Agios Nikolaos, Greek media report.

Sky Way Transport Canada was founded by a Russian inventor Anatoly Yunitsky, who is author of over 140 inventions and 250 scientific research works on string transport. The main unit of the company is now located in Belarus. According to the researcher, his innovative train will be able to travel at up to 500 km/hr. Sky Way in fact offers an absolutely new type of transportation which may be employed both within cities and between them. Sky Way claims that string trains can reduce load on traditional roads network and prevent most of road accidents involving public transport.

A string train is in fact a monorail, elevated above the ground by trestles. Anatoly Yunitsky’s project uses electric vehicles on steel wheels riding on specific string rails. The innovativeness of a string transportation system is the rails of not more than four centimeters thick being tightened as strings to avoid temperature deformation. Since trestles for string trains can be located at up to 5 kilometers from each other, string tracks may be erected even in complicated geographical and climatic conditions. According to the manufacturers, all Sky Way systems are unmanned, hence risks of accidents in the course of this transport operation are nearing zero.

Such a construction requires minor earthworks. The string train trestles are ten to twenty times cheaper to construct than the traditional ones, the inventor claims. A freight type high speed transport has been developed as well. Its payload can reach twenty thousand tons. Finally, Sky Way anticipates arranging transportation at several levels above the ground surface.

Anatoly Yunitsky is certain that the transport system he has developed is more efficient, faster, and safer than the traditional types of transportation. Nevertheless, not a single string train project has been turned into reality so far. For fifteen years Yunitsky has been insistently propagating his invention. He has had numerous meetings with officials in Russia and elsewhere. The concept was even presented to the then-president, Dmitry Medvedev. Yet, the project remains in a deadlock.

In 2016 though, Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation’s task team on increasing innovativeness of government procurements for the transportation industry acknowledged innovative nature of Sky Way technology.

In its resolution, the team pointed out that “Viability of the transportation technology using trestles-based track infrastructure should be noted, and support to that technology should be granted”.

The first step was therefore made towards Sky Way taking part in government tenders, but it is not possible yet, as the technology has not undergone required certification.

Pre-project tests of the possibilities of employing Sky Way innovative transport systems have been performed for several Russian regions, but the future of the projects is yet uncertain. In January, a representative of transport and road facilities department in the government of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area made a statement, that experts had not approved ideas of Anatoly Yunitsky, saying they were “Expensive and inefficient for the Arctic region environment”.

Everything Yunitsky suggests can be done using the current transportation infrastructure but at much lower costs. Therefore, there is no need to build a new infrastructure. Besides, the present-day Sky Way transportation system is just a prototype. The process will not move forward until the system undergoes a respective certification at the federal agencies”, the department representative is quoted by Krasny Sever online newspaper.

But Anatoly Yunitsky’s company is building up its international activities and has signed several cooperation agreements in India and Indonesia. Further negotiations are underway in Thailand.

The market competitiveness of the Cretan project may be judged by the estimated costs publicized by Greek media.

By Julia Pogosova

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