DOST rolls out more efficient hybrid train

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The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has rolled out a hybrid road train that could help address problems in mass transportation in Metro Manila and other urban areas in the country.

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DOST Secretary Mario Montejo on Thursday said the 40-meter long road train could run up to a maximum speed of 50 kilometer per hour and could serve 240 passengers or 60 per coach. All of the five interlinked coaches are air-conditioned and the last of which holds the vehicle’s generator set and battery system.

Designed as a hybrid system by engineers from DOST’s Metals Institute Research and Development Center under its Makibayan or Makina at Teknolohiya Para sa Bayan Program, the newly-introduced train has less smoke emission compared to conventional vehicles. Its engines are elevated inside the vehicle, allowing the train to run even in flooded areas with water as high as 1.5 meters.

“We are offering this for consideration as a more efficient means of mass transportation,” Montejo said. “Through this, we are multiplying the number of passengers on a given road space,” he added.

The DOST chief a noted the additional energy gained by the vehicle every time it decelerates through its “regenerative” breaking capability.

The road train was built for P45 million, which covered research and development and the trial-and-error testing for the parts. But the actual cost per unit could decrease at least by half when the train is produced commercially.

The DOST said it is open to selling the license for the vehicle’s design to a local company who intends to sell the unit.

At present, the agency said talks are underway to deploy road train units in Cebu province.

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