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Japan’s dual mode vehicle that runs on rail and road makes its public debut

Japan's new vehicle can be used as train as well as van for ferrying old people and easing their journey

What one would have imagined viewing in a James Bond film actually happened for real as a vehicle which can be a bus or a train as it is a DMV – the world’s first dual-mode vehicle – made its debut in Japan.

At home on road and rail made its maiden run on Saturday in Kaiyo town located in Tokushima prefecture of Japan.

From its appearance, the DMV looks like a minibus, running on normal rubber tires while on the road and when it arrives at an interchange, steel wheels come out from the underbelly of the vehicle on the rail track – making it ready to run on it like a train carriage.

The front tires are lifted off the track by the train wheels while the wheels in the rear stay down to propel the DMV onto the railway.

Talking to the media, the CEO of Asa Coast Railway company, which operates the DMVs Shigeki Miura said that the vehicles could help small towns like Kaiyo with an ageing and shrinking population, where local transport companies struggle to make a profit.

"This (DMV) can reach the locals (as a bus), and carry them onto the railway as well. Especially in rural areas with an ageing population, we expect it to be a very good form of public transport."

Sharing more information about the vehicle Asa Coast Railway informed that the vehicle has the capacity to ferry 21 passengers and on the rail tracks it can clock a speed of 60 kilometres per hour while on the road it can hit a speed of 100 kilometres per hour.

It is powered by diesel fuel and comes in different attractive colours, and will run along part of the coast of the Shikoku island in southern Japan thereby allowing several small towns to be connected and also enabling passengers to catch a glimpse of enchanting seaside scenery.

The CEO also thinks that the DMV will become a tourist attraction, making people from Japan visit the region and enjoy a ride in it.