Smart ForRail or the Different Kind of Driving Experience
Smart ForRail is literally unique. There is no other second vehicle like in the world. And I am not talking about the exterior appearance or the goodies included in it. It offers different way of traveling in terms of … the driving itself. Because it does not ride on rubbers, but on solid discs, this car is actually a mini-train. Yes, the Smart ForRail is driven on the rails, as the name clearly suggests.
Believe it or not, this little vehicle is very effective in covering long distance journeys. In addition, it offers many comforts found in the newest Smart ForFour, on which is based.
Fully Certified Mini-Train
Yes, the ForRail has been even made legal with full certification as a mini-train. But how did this idea appear after all?
The project has been designed by Interfleet, whose experts specialize on train engineering. However, they usually work with 16-litre, 70-tonne diesel locomotives. So they really needed to make a new strategy on how to work with the one-tonne smart with significantly smaller displacement.
It took them more than six months of initial engineering work and CAD modelling to create the specifics of this project. As a result, they have substituted the standard alloys with 22-inch solid steel wheels. Given that these ‘wheels' also weigh up to 80 kg, this ensures the perfect traction on the rails.
The steering was also removed, so that the vehicle can be driven on rails. There is actually aluminium supports welded between the axles, which lock the wheels in firm position.
Why ForRail is Beneficial?
The most important answer is probably, because of the traffic. The mini-train is capable of avoiding congested roads. The second reason is because it offers the comfort of a four-seater with all of the technology benefits usually found in new cars.
Precisely, the interior of the car-train is wide enough to house comfortably four adults. In addition, it features many convenient technologies, making the journey more unforgettable, but at the same time safe enough. In fact, there is a safety cell, which contributes for the strength of the vehicle.
At last, but not least, it is an extremely affordable and efficient way of traveling.
Smart ForRail made its first journey this weekend on the private Bluebell Railway. It covered 10-miles, traveling directly from London to Sussex. There were of course many challenges and engineering obstacles, but eventually the experiment proved successful.
The testing happened during the constant supervision of the trained staff from the railway. And the car was driven not by an accidental person, but by a licensed train driver. After covering the aimed distance and reaching Sussex, the Smart ForRail was modified back to its ForFour alter ego.
Similar modifications are extremely difficult to make and also very dangerous. So we do not encourage you to try this at home.