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Sharjah’s eco-friendly sky pods to ferry passengers at 130kph

Sharjah’s first high-speed electric sky pod will travel at 130kph, reducing traffic time and making travel much easier.

Oleg Zaretskiy, SkyWay Green Tech’s chief executive, said the cost of building the network was comparable or cheaper than laying new roads and required vastly less maintenance over time.

“From a distance, it may look like a cable car – but it is light-years away,” he said.

Ropes and rolling wheels restrict that format to low speeds because of friction and load. This Unitsky String Technology is more like a railroad, with wheels rolling on a rail,” he said.

“There is steel-to-steel friction so it means it consumes much less energy than cars. It is a power-saving solution, with an electrical motor that can be operated partly by solar or wind energy.”

Unitsky String Technologies of Belarus build a 2km suspended track at Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park.

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It is not far from reality that the sustainable SkyWay system could be carrying its first passengers within weeks.

The firm tested new track in May and said that within three years, a 130km sky track from Sharjah to Khor Fakkan port could be operational to transport freight.

The project is supported by the Sharjah Government.

The rail itself has guaranteed durability of 100 years and avoids corrosion by encasing eight pre-stressed wires inside a polymer solution to protect it from harsh environments.

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An ‘urban light’ track can carry pods of up to 14 passengers at speeds of 150kph, while larger carriages transport passengers in either 48 or 75 capacity pods at 500kph.

If a track was laid between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the travel time would be reduced to less than 20 minutes.

 “The SkyWay system is much more flexible in route alignment, so is considerably cheaper,” authorities said.

SkyWay claims its operating costs are less than half of conventional railway transport and a third of the costs of building and maintaining a road of a similar distance.

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