Vulsis M-Raud

From OpenGeofiction Encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Vulsis M-raud
Overview
OwnerIdäätaamra Liidukogu
LocaleVulsis, Taamramae
Transit typePeople mover
Number of lines1
Number of stations3
Websitem-vulsis.ka
Operation
Began operation1996
Operator(s)M-raud Vulsis L.V.
CharacterUnderground
Number of vehicles1
Train length2
Headway6 mins
First departure0700
Last arrival2300
Technical
System length1,1km
ElectrificationCable system
Average speed20km/h
Top speed30km/h

The Vulsis M-Raud is an underground railway in the village of Vulsis, Karolia. It is officially the world's smallest metro system, consisting of a single 1,1km line with three stations. Map: [1]

Background

Vulsis is a small village high in the Taamras mountains, close to the state boundary between Taamramae and Aeraasmaa. The area contains a high number of ski resorts and slopes, and ski tourism has grown considerably since the mid-twentieth century. The increasing car ownership in the country led to large traffic volumes on the narrow mountain roads, with few railways (Vulsis is nearly 50km from the nearest mainline railway station and has only one bus service). but two widely-used cable car lines running from the village centre. By the 1990s the village had a serious problem with congestion and parking, with tour buses trying to get through the narrow main street and skiers parking in residential roads. The village relied heavily on the visitors for its economy and the regional council did not wish to drive them away.

The unusual solution was proposed by a store owner in the village: an underground railway which would connect the cable car stations to a car and bus park outside the village centre. This would relieve skiers from having to carry their equipment on foot.

Technical

The completely straight tunnel measures 3m high by 5m wide and is a rectangular cross-section lined with concrete blocks and a smooth concrete floor. It is approximately 4m below ground level. An emergency exit path is laid on the northern side of the tunnel.

The railway is operated by an electrically-powered cable system, with a motor at each end. The electricity is generated by the river and by solar panels mounted on the roof of the parking station. Outside hours of operation, the water power is stored in batteries. Instead of tracks, the train runs on rubber-tyred wheels and follows a guide block laid along the centre, which also houses the cable.

Rolling stock

A single train of two permanently-coupled cars is used for operations, built in Vasireii. This has six single-leaf doors and windows on the platform side only. On the other side are benches and racks for ski equipment

Operation

The M-raud runs every day from 0700 to 2300, except for one week in August when the tunnel is closed for maintenance. Journey time from one terminus to another is around 2 1/2 minutes with a stop at the intermediate Kiirk station.

There is no charge for passengers to use the M-raud, however there is a charge for parking to cover running costs.

Stations

Each station consists of a single platform around 50m long. The village centre station uses the frontage of an old bakery and connects directly to the cable-car station.

  • Parking
  • Kiirk
  • Vulsis-kyli