INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO LIGHT RAIL VEHICLE DESIGN

Passenger expectations, along with transit authority requirements, shape the design of modern-day transit equipment. Not only should today's light rail vehicles (LRVs) be perceived by passengers as user-friendly, comfortable, and environmentally sound, but they must also meet stringent criteria set by urban transportation planners and administrators. The design features of ABB's Variotram, a unique vehicle that employs modular design concepts for flexibility and a gearless hub motor as a solution to the need for low floors, are described. To achieve a totally flat low floor, the traditional LRV drive system has been redesigned. The Variotram LRV features an in-wheel hub motor that is fitted with direct drive for every wheel in a 100% low-floor LRV. This unique hub motor eliminates the need for wheel shafts and gear boxes, which, in turn, allows a low floor from end to end. The motor is a totally encapsulated unit, making it virtually maintenance-free and ensuring quiet operation. Transistorized technology allows for an extremely compact inverter unit that mounts on the roof above the truck section of the LRV. These technologies have made a 100% low-floor design possible and are revolutionizing the entire LRV concept. The Variotram is based on a set of five modules that can be built to different widths and for broad, standard, or meter gauge networks. Modules of different lengths are joined by articulation units and can be configured for either unidirectional or bidirectional operation. In addition to its adaptability, this modular LRV is designed for superior comfort with low floors, climate control, and larger windows--features that studies have shown greatly increase passenger acceptance. The Variotram has been in operation in Chemnitz, Germany, since June 1994.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Photos;
  • Pagination: p. 199-204
  • Monograph Title: SEVENTH NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, NOVEMBER 12-15, 1995. VOLUME 1
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00716779
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309061520
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 30 1996 12:00AM