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Daegu, Korea is a big city with a population of 2.5 million. The city's population density has increased in recent years, and traffic congestion has become a growing concern. People have been longing for the development of an efficient, safe and comfortable city transit system.
Hitachi, in cooperation with regional partners, has been assembling and testing vehicles in this factory and then transporting them to the train depot.
The rapid shift of population to the capital and other big cities has been forcing Korea to take on challenges such as reducing traffic congestion and protecting the environment.
Especially in cities like Daegu, where over 2.5 million people live, the concentration of population and the increasing number of automobiles have been causing severe traffic jams. To solve this problem, the governments of Korea and Daegu City began planning to develop light rail networks such as monorail systems.
Railway systems are drawing a lot of new attention as transportation alternatives that produce fewer CO2 emissions than automobile traffic. In particular, monorail systems are seen as a superb alternative as their construction costs are lower than other rail systems, and their environmental footprints are smaller.
As a provider of integrated railway systems and solutions, Hitachi has delivered seven monorail systems in Japan, including the Tokyo Monorail that started its operations in 1964. Hitachi has also delivered monorail systems to Chongqing in China, Sentosa Island in Singapore, and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. In Korea, Hitachi has been working to help solve the problem of traffic congestion. Hitachi delivered trains for the Seoul Metropolitan Subway No. 1 Line that began operating in 1974. Hitachi established a local subsidiary for its railway business, Hitachi Korea Railroad System Ltd. (now Hitachi Korea Ltd.) in 2007.
Korea recognized the excellence of monorail technology that Hitachi has developed over the years and entrusted Hitachi as the provider for the first monorail project in Daegu. In 2008, Hitachi received orders for key infrastructure components, including vehicles and signaling systems. The following year, Hitachi began working in cooperation with local partners to deliver the monorail system.
The Daegu Urban Railway Line 3 Monorail System is about 24 kilometers long, running from northwest to southeast in the city, connecting 30 stations. Since the line runs from the center of the city out to the suburbs, construction had to be done in a way to minimize negative impact on traffic and to preserve the city's landscape. Construction costs and the time needed to build the line were also important considerations. With these factors in mind, the governments searched for the best solutions among elevated railway systems.
Elevated guideways are designed and built to preserve scenic views of the river and the natural surroundings.
Arch shaped elevated bridge at an intersection.
Hitachi's straddle-type monorail system turned out to be an ideal solution to meet these requirements. It is an elevated system that utilizes a highly efficient and simple guideway design. As such, construction could be done with minimal impact on existing traffic, and the system fits in well with the landscape with minimal disturbance to city views.
Passenger safety is a primary consideration in the design of Hitachi monorail systems. All the train cars in the 28-vehicle monorail system for the Daegu Urban Railway Line 3 are equipped with sprinkler-type fire extinguishers. The system is also designed to help passengers evacuate safely from the guideways in case of an emergency. Other advanced technology includes the use of mist-glass side windows in the passenger compartments, using liquid-crystal screens that automatically change from "transparent" to "blind" as the monorail runs through residential neighborhoods, ensuring privacy for people living along the line. Construction on Line 3 has been proceeding well.
Operations are scheduled to begin in the near future.
The opening of the Line 3 Monorail System will not just ease traffic congestion in the city, but it will also reduce the time it takes for people in the city to get to various facilities around the city. Further, the monorail itself is expected to become a tourist attraction and to help revitalize local communities along the line.
"Mist-glass" liquid-crystal window screens have a "transparent" mode (left) and a "blind" mode (right).
Maintenance and repairs will be performed at the train depot.
The operation control room in the train depot utilizes a variety of Hitachi IT technologies.
Monorail systems planned for big cities are expected to become major "city arteries."
Many other cities in Korea have been suffering from severe traffic congestion and are planning to introduce light rail systems. Railways such as monorail systems function as "city arteries" that support the mobility of people and the distribution of goods. As traffic congestion in big cities has become a universal problem, Hitachi is determined to keep working hard to develop and support these city arteries to enrich people's lives worldwide.