Looking beyond the guided-bus?

The development of light rail schemes in the UK has been constrained by funding issues. In mainland Europe this issue has been addressed by the introduction of guided bus schemes using modern vehicles that resemble trams. A visit to see the operation of the Eindhoven Phileas system in the Netherlands is described. The wheels of the Phileas vehicle can be steered automatically by magnetic guidance allowing it to move sideways and stop very accurately. The vehicle traction power is provided by a LPG powered internal combustion engine with a generator, flywheel, parallel batteries and electrical final drive. The author describes his experiences of the guided-bus routes operated by the Phileas on the 9km route to Eindhoven airport (Route 401). He found the ride quality high and that the vehicle had a distinct identity. Three tests were used to assess equivalence between light rail and modern guided-bus. The tests related to segregation, capacity and discretionary guidance (control of vehicle direction). These showed that the Phileas system could be considered equivalent to conventional light rail. The potential for upgrading the guided bus-way to light rail is discussed.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01061119
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Sep 10 2007 2:26PM