designed and delivered by TDI

Working with strategic partners, TDI is able to provide a range of 'turnkey' sustainable transit solutions according to individual customer requirements, environmental, operational and commercial constraints.

 

 

  • Personal Rapid Transit

    Since 2005, TDI has been a technical partner of Vectus Ltd, a Korean owned company dedicated to the development of world leading PRT technology. TDI's core involvement in the project has been the design, production engineering and prototyping of the cabins themselves, the first examples of which underwent extensive trials on a purpose built test track in Sweden between 2007-2010. Forty production vehicles are due to enter service by the end of 2013 on the first fully commercial Vectus system recently constructed in Suncheon Bay, South Korea. Vectus is in effect an intelligent, automated people mover (APM) which meets all the safety and operational standards required of a traditional rail-based transit system. PRT is not designed to compete with large public transport services such as metros or commuter rail systems; rather it is designed to enhance and improve the viability of such networks by providing feeder lines and links into areas where ‘heavy rail’ would otherwise be too expensive to install and operate. PRT can also provide the ‘last mile’ of transportation, for example, from a busy railway station, which might otherwise involve a taxi ride or a bus. As the vehicles are small-scale and lightweight, they can be carried on a much smaller, (ideally elevated) track infrastructure, requiring minimal ground take and reduced power consumption. In terms of carrying capacity, Vectus is arguably the most cost effective public-transit solution in comparison with monorail or light rail system, for moving up to around ten thousand passengers per hour. TDI is the appointed sales agency for all UK projects.

  • Minitram GRT Systems

    Minitrams are state-of-the-art, light urban transit vehicles (sometimes known as Group Rapid Transit) designed to operate in town/city centres, visitor attractions, airports, exhibition sites and park-and-ride applications. The Minitram technology seeks to offer the system characteristics normally associated with conventional rail-based tram networks through the flexibility and cost effectiveness of automotive and commercial vehicle technology, combined with a concealed (below ground) wire guidance technology called 'Safeguide'. Safeguide ensures accurate navigation along narrow transit corridors - just like invisible rails - and precise docking at stops/platforms and stations. This is especially relevant in historic town centres, where conventional bus lanes or tram lines would be impractical. Using this system, the vehicles can be driven in fully automatic mode (on segregated alignments only), semi- automatically or even manually with a driver where no guideway exists. Minitram GRT systems are significantly cheaper than a conventional tram or light rapid transit system and do not require intrusive infrastructure such as overhead wires or electrified rails. The vehicles are small scale and can travel along roadways with shared occupancy, dedicated alignments, through pedestrian areas and even indoors within shopping centres or other building complexes. Running every few minutes, a fleet of Minitrams can provide a continuous orbital service around any congested town or city centre. By virtue of Safeguide, they are able to navigate precisely within dedicated transit lanes on an existing highway or else along dedicated, paved alignments and in pedestrian areas. The core service can also connect with a network of radial or cross-town routes serving schools, housing estates, business centres, the local railway station, various park and ride sites and other important amenities. As they are non-polluting, small scale and accurately steered, they can also run though pedestrian priority areas as well as indoors - for example in shopping centres. The modular design of the Minitram is such that cars can be manufactured in a range of sizes (in terms of length, width and interior seating arrangement) to suit the local operating environment and capacity requirements.

  • Bespoke Light Rail

    Working in partnership, TDI and Severn Lamb designed and supplied their first purpose-built, light rail train in 2011. This two car unit is powered by a wayside conductor rail and operates a shuttle service along a short section of track at ‘Al Hoota Caves’ near the capital city Muscat (lower image) in the Sultanate of Oman. Following on from this in the summer of 2015, a second, standard gauge vehicle type was developed for a private operator in central Turkey. The award winning 'ULR Express' is a bi-directional, 18m long, diesel-electric railcar with 66 seats and an overall maximum carrying capacity of 120. Operating at speeds up to 65kph, it has a 3% gradient capability and can turn comfortably on a 50m radius. The underlying concept is to be able to offer a bespoke design and supply service to customers in potentially 'one-off' or niche applications where conventional light rail is inappropriate. It involves providing lighter weight, smaller capacity and consequently lower cost vehicles and infrastructure than would otherwise be affordable and allows rails be laid over existing services if necessary, without the need to relocate them. Just as with the rubber-tyred 'Minitrams', the manufacturing philosophy borrows heavily from the commercial vehicle/bus industry by taking advantage of off-the-shelf, high volume components and state-of-the-art electric and hybrid drive technology. The body shell utilises a modular system of bolt-together aluminium, honeycomb and composite panels, flush-bonded glazing and powered plug-sliding doors. This method of manufacture affords easy reconfiguration to meet specific customer needs, without the need for substantial retooling. Furthermore, because these trains do not operate on mainline rail infrastructure, they need only meet street running tram and public service vehicle (bus) standards as opposed to heavy rail. Sometimes called 'ultra light or 'very light' rail, these unique trains can be built to narrow or 'standard gauge' as required, either as single, bi-directional vehicle (with an option to have a cab at both ends) or as multiple unit consists. Internal layouts and aesthetics can be varied to suit individual needs and the ratio of seated and standing accommodation adjusted. Vehicles can be powered in a number of ways according to specific operating and environmental considerations: • trackside current collection using a 'Conductix' type system or inductive power transfer • pure EV mode using LION or lead acid traction batteries • clean diesel, LPG or bio-ethanol powered generator to drive the electric bogies • series hybrid with additional batteries to provide a pure EV capability along environmentally sensitive sections of the route including stations and pedestrianised areas All vehicles are DDA/RVAR compliant and can be fitted with full heating ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems specified to meet local operating conditions.

  • 'Revolution VLR' Project

    'Revolution VLR' is a consortium of UK companies, led by TDI, which is dedicated to the development of next generation, 'very light rail' technology. A key aim of the project is to facilitate low cost connectivity of regional and rural areas. TDI, who is already leading the field in the design of lighter, light rail vehicles, believes that such an approach is fundamental to the provision of integrated and sustainable, short range public transport systems both now and in the future. In November 2013, the Consortium was successful in winning financial support from EIT (the RSSB Future Railway Enabling Innovation Team funded by the DfT) for developing a unique self-powered bogie with an integral, hybrid propulsion and kinetic energy recovery system. It utilises off-the-shelf, commercial vehicle componentry where practical to reduce overall manufacturing cost and improve reliability and maintainability. In parallel with the bogie design, the team will also evaluate the application of existing, essentially ‘heavy rail’, safety standards to very light railcars and produce a discussion paper for consideration by RSSB and other stakeholders in the 'Future Railway' programme. TDI is supported by WMG (University of Warwick) who have pioneering experience in the light-weighting of automotive body structures for OEMs such as Jaguar Land Rover; Unipart Rail who have one of the largest bogie overhaul centres in Europe and are industry leaders in management of the rolling stock supply chain and Prose AG who are a specialist bogie engineering company. Key technology providers include: Cummins, Magnomatics, Magtec and Unipart Powertrain Applications. Following a demonstration of the bogie technology in the laboratory early in 2016, the next phase of the project will involve installing one prototype bogie under a light weight railcar for extensive track-based trials. Called 'Revolution' this will be a next generation version of the 'ULR Express' railcar developed originally by TDI and Severn Lamb. It is expected to start manufacture of the Revolution demonstration vehicle in early 2017 through a special purpose company called VLR Technologies Ltd.

  • Single Axle Running Gear

    In November 2016, TDI was awarded £830,000 towards the development of a single axle running gear solution originally proposed for the company's 'Foresee' train concept which received early feasibility funding under the Tomorrow's Train programme back in 2014. Foresee proposed the use of substantially shorter carriages, circa 6.5m in length and manufactured using lightweight composites, to address the '4C challenge' laid down by DfT. This latest award will fund a two year project which culminates in the design, manufacture and testing, under laboratory conditions, of a demonstrator rolling chassis. The project is being supported by the following partner organisations, several of whom are located in Sweden: AF, Arogus International, Huddersfield University, Prose AG, Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, Tikab and Transcal Engineering.

  • Visitor Transit Systems

    TDI has designed a number of unique 'Visitor Transit Systems', or VTS, which is a modern-day, more sophisticated development of the traditional land train concept. Typically a towing vehicle (which can be powered by either electric or combustion engine), is used to pull a series of up to three passenger-carrying trailers. Each trailer has four-wheel steering and is designed to follow precisely in the tracks of the vehicle in front. The total train can carry up to 60 seated passengers and has a minimum turning of 12.8m radius (outer wheels). The carriages are manufactured in aluminium and composites and feature fully powered doors, drop-light windows and a pressure ventilation system to prevent condensation. All are wheelchair accessible and incorporate a passenger announcement facility, along with inductive loop transmitters for the hard of hearing. They can be styled or themed, both inside and out, according to individual customer preferences. In the UK, the VTS can be operated along public highways at no more than 10mph through a Vehicle Special Order (VSO) issued by the VCA. They also require the approval of an inspection body such as ADIPS. Most recently (late 2016), TDI has provided designs for the new land trains now operating in Dubai Parks Resorts.

  • The Next Step

    If you believe that one of these technologies may provide a solution to your transport needs, please contact us straight away. We will be pleased to visit your town/city to understand your requirements first hand, make a presentation, and discuss the methodology for taking a project forward. In most cases, the next step will be to undertake a feasibility study. Typically, this will involve the following process to enable our project team to provide you with a fully budgeted proposal for designing and implementing a complete transit system, or perhaps just providing specific items of equipment and vehicles as appropriate. Alternatively, there is the opportunity for equipment to be manufactured and assembled locally under licence. 1) develop a brief though workshops with client team and stakeholders 2) identify and survey potential transit routes 3) consider environmental and traffic planning issues 4) understand operational and budgetary constraints 5) model route profiles, passenger usage/revenue forecasts 6) define vehicle performance specification 7) define potential infrastructure and civil engineering requirements 8) develop and illustrate conceptual scheme - may involve a number of options 9) identify capital and whole life costing models 10) deliver recommendations/project proposal