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Kinkisharyo ameriTRAM


A. Wong
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January 20, 2011

Industry News

Kinkisharyo unveils hybrid streetcar in N.C.

Kinkisharyo-ameritram-2.jpg

With testing of its prototype now finalized, Kinkisharyo International L.L.C. unveiled on Thursday its newly-named streetcar, ameriTRAM, to the public at a special ceremony in Charlotte, N.C.

The supplier of low-floor, light rail vehicles in North America, announced the LFX-300 - its prototype of the 100 percent low-floor, electro-hybrid streetcar, specifically designed for North America - has completed engineering tests and trials and is ready for the North American market.

ameriTRAM is a 100 percent low-floor streetcar that uses e-Brid, a propulsion technology that enables operation powered by overhead catenary or on-board lithium-ion batteries. e-Brid charges the batteries while running on catenary power. In battery mode, e-Brid uses electricity stored from regenerative braking. Depending on conditions, ameriTRAM can run on battery power for up to five miles.

Less electrification equipment and maintenance means that e-Brid saves municipalities millions of dollars in capital investment and operational costs, including $1 to $2 million for every mile of catenary avoided. Eliminating overhead catenary wires allows ameriTRAM to serve sensitive historic preservation areas, or where installing overhead wires is not practical, such as under low bridges.

Also, because e-Brid enables battery-powered operation for up to five miles, ameriTRAM delivers immediate savings through lower power consumption and also eliminates harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

ameriTRAM was specifically engineered for North America and complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Buy America, NFPA-130 and ASME RT-1. Additionally, ameriTRAM has a modular design and can be expanded to comprise up to seven cars without increasing a municipality's fleet size.

Copyright © 2011 Metro Magazine. All Rights Reserved.

http://www.metro-magazine.com/News/Story/2...ar-in-N-C-.aspx

Another article:

http://www.masstransitmag.com/web/online/I...r-/1$13459

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This "e-brid" technology is one that should be explored for wider use. Imagine only having to have straight wire on your system. Junctions, intersections, etc could all exist without wire and vehicles operate through off-wire, eliminating the operational stresses that intersections have upon electric traction.

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Its an interesting concept for sure, but their claim that the technology "..delivers immediate savings through lower power consumption..." is garbage.

Many modern LRTs have regenerative braking, so they've got nothing there. And as for when running on the batteries, they may not be drawing any current from the overhead, but they are when the pans are up and they are recharging the batteries - on top of taking the juice to move the vehicle.

Dan

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Eliminating overhead catenary wires allows ameriTRAM to serve sensitive historic preservation areas, or where installing overhead wires is not practical, such as under low bridges.

Alimentation par Sol achieves the same goal without the batteries.

I find the term "hybrid streetcar" to be a bit misleading: shouldn't it be "dual-mode"?

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Alimentation par Sol achieves the same goal without the batteries.

Yes, but with far more complexity. The same could be also said about Bombardier's contactless induction system.

I find the term "hybrid streetcar" to be a bit misleading: shouldn't it be "dual-mode"?

It seems that anything that uses batteries to store power onboard has become a "hybrid". I don't think that dual-mode is correct though, as that implies an alternate power source for off-wire running such as diesel generator.

Dan

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  • 3 months later...
This "e-brid" technology is one that should be explored for wider use. Imagine only having to have straight wire on your system. Junctions, intersections, etc could all exist without wire and vehicles operate through off-wire, eliminating the operational stresses that intersections have upon electric traction.

I find that most streetcar/tram operations have a very simple catenary layout as it is. The switches and what not are rail based and not 'in the sky'. The catenary is only a power supply.

Trolleys have their 'track' in the sky, which is what makes them so fascinating.

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