The first hundreds of meters of a fundamentally new string transport system (STS), invented by Russian inventor Anatoly Yunitsky, were born in the Moscow Lakes.

Imagine a railway … lifted into the air on steel supports. Of course, it will be impossible to ride on it: a heavy train will simply bend the rails! Unitsky found a way out. He made the rails hollow, inside them pulled steel ropes with a force of 250-1000 tons. On such strings it is already possible to launch any trolley, but only at low speed. After all, no matter how you pull the string, it’ll still sag between the supports and the fast-moving crew, swaying, will simply fly off the track. Therefore, it required a hard shell - rails. As can be seen in the diagram, the ropes inside are stretched with a deflection, but the space around them is filled with a special composition. As a result, it was possible to make the track itself perfectly smooth, which removes the speed limit of the transport modules.

Why is all this necessary? The answer is given by economics and ecology. Today, the construction of one kilometer of the railway track costs 3-5 million dollars, the highway 5-10 million, the monorail 4-10 million. Perhaps only the cable car requires "only" 1.5-2 million dollars per kilometer but you won’t go fast on it. Calculations show that the string route will cost the same 1.5–2 million and will provide a capacity of about 100 thousand passengers and more than 100 thousand tons of cargo per day. In addition, minimal land acquisition will be required, nature will be preserved almost in its original form. In hard-to-reach areas north of BAM, Unitsky strings may be the only acceptable option for the development of the transport network.

All these arguments are good, but the new idea had a serious flaw: no one saw a real kilometer. And in order to build it, we need precisely those same 1.5–2 million “green” ones, which just like that, under the idea, no one will give. The UN Center for the Development of Human Settlements came to the rescue, which allocated a grant for the construction of the first experimental line, the administration of the Krasnoyarsk Territory added something, and the case started. In August 2001, in the Lakes, installation of the first anchor support began, and at the end of October we already visited the launch of the first 150-meter section of the future 10-kilometer track. The truck here is used only as an example of a heavy self-propelled vehicle; in the long term - the creation of streamlined cargo and passenger modules of different sizes and carrying capacities operating on electric traction. If the rails are electrically isolated from each other, it is possible to make steel wheels by current collectors, like train trains.

Now a little about impressions. They turned out to be the strongest among our photographer, who bravely took a seat next to the driver (pilot?) And watched through the viewfinder as the earth literally goes down from under the hood. The author, on the other hand, tried to evaluate the fluctuations and deflections of the path under the rising ZIL. They were minimal and did not cause concern for the outcome of the experiment. It is only a pity that there was nowhere to accelerate to 150 meters. Well, yes still ahead …

And by the way, what's ahead? One of the posters presented the future STS network covering the entire north of Russia right up to the Bering Strait. Honestly, somehow it all reminded New Vasyuki from the work of our classics. No matter how small the relative costs per kilometer, but multiplied by tens of thousands, they grow to unimaginable values. Another thing is that the STS seemed to be a fully functional route and could already solve some local problems in Moscow itself with expensive land saturated with communications and areas spreading beyond the MKAD.

After all, monorails work in some cities around the world: why don't we do something unique?

The earth has gone from under the wheels of ZIL.

Such trailers are likely to roll us in the future across the country.