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A strange vehicle is baffling in Japan

T + T – normal size

A new vehicle in Japan raises eyebrows when searching for its classification, and whether it deserves the description of a bus or a train? The DMV, a dual-use vehicle meaning that it runs on paved roads and on rails, is scheduled to make its first public appearance in Kayo, Tokushima Prefecture, Japan.

The vehicle resembles a minibus and moves with ordinary rubber tires on the road. But when it shifts its position, the steel wheels descend from the bottom of the vehicle and roll onto the rails, effectively transforming into a railcar.

The wheels of the train lift the front tires off the track while the rear wheels remain low to propel the vehicle onto the rails.

It can help small towns such as Cayo, where populations are aging and declining and local carriers are finding it hard to turn a profit, the chief executive of Asa Coast Rail, which operates DMV vehicles, said.

“This vehicle can reach local people (as a bus) and take them to the railways as well,” said Shigeki Miura, chief executive of Reuters.

Asa Kosk Railway said the DMV can carry up to 21 passengers and operate at speeds of 60 kilometers per hour on railways and can reach speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour on public roads.

A small fleet of multi-colored diesel vehicles will run along part of the coast of Shikoku Island in southern Japan, linking some small towns and allowing passengers to enjoy stunning views of the coast.

Miura said he hopes the project will encourage railway enthusiasts across Japan to visit the town.


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