What is MONOCAB?
Typical rural area? Thin public transport, car indispensable, temptingly mobile city life? A vicious circle that can be broken: with an innovative idea based on the paternoster principle for IPNV, individual local public transport. The MONOCAB is coming!
Where there's a way, there's a will - Nordlippe drives ahead
Nordlippe in East Westphalia. A rural region, typical of so many sparsely populated areas in Germany: with lots of peace and quiet, lots of space - and lots of "buts": but there's hardly any public transport! But without a car, we're screwed! But the railroad has shut down the line!
These problems are not only known in North Lippe: Stores, doctors' offices and small schools are disappearing, jobs are only being created in more densely populated areas - those who don't have a car or want to do without one are dependent on public transport. How can public transport be changed and improved to meet these challenges? The idea of Landeseisenbahn Lippe e. V.: the revitalization of a largely unused railroad line with an innovative mobility concept - the MONOCAB. Individual, on demand, automated and designed as IPNV, as "individual local passenger transport". So that people in rural areas become more mobile and independent.
The MONOCAB is intended to be as good as the user's own car and, in addition, "made in NRW, tested in OWL". Thorsten Försterling from Landeseisenbahn Lippe e.V.: "The future of mobility in rural areas is individual. A solution must be good and simple. It must be intuitive and feel natural. Let's dare to think ahead!"
The MONOCAB is a self-propelled cabin on the rails of the historic single-track railroad line between Lemgo and Extertal. And not just one: There are to be many cabins traveling in both directions on one track - simultaneously. That's because the MONOCAB is a gyro-stabilized monorail: It balances on just one rail of a normal rail track thanks to gyroscope technology (a rapidly rotating gyroscope system for active position control through conservation of angular momentum). The MONOCABs are designed in such a way that they can pass each other in opposite directions.
On schedule at full speed
The demonstrator is currently being developed. The milestones for this are nine technology readiness levels. Currently, TRL 4, the test setup in the laboratory, is nearing completion and the operational environment is being developed. The innovative project is making use of the existing infrastructure: Two test fields are being set up on the section of track between Bösingfeld and Rinteln that has been shut down for rail operations, and the first demonstrators are scheduled to run there in October 2022.
Experienced research and development partners are on board for this project: OWL University of Applied Sciences, Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences and Fraunhofer IOSB-INA. And the Landeseisenbahn Lippe e.V. as initiator and idea provider.