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Sky Bus

- A paradigm shift in Urban Transportation

M. Mayur
Sky bus is a modern suspended railway invented by Indian technologist, Er. B Raja
Ram. It is an eco – friendly, noise free and economical operation, which makes it interesting
not only in cities in India, but also in different cities in Europe and America. Sky Bus falls
under tramway category, according to the Constitution of India. Since it operates along and
parallel to existing roadways and within municipal limits, it is excluded from the Indian
Railway Act. Sky bus is economical than metro rails and other means when considered within
the city limits, in the view of transportation and safety.
What is Sky Bus? Challenges of transportation:

Sky bus is a suspended railway 1. Urban space remains frozen

system, can never capsize nor collide due
to its design and construction technique. 2. Population shifting to urban
This is noise free, pollution free and habitats, resulting in mass
economical with no points and crossings. transit capacity
In short, sky bus is “A unique mass transit
system which than can be put up within 3. Should be free from pollution
any two years in any crowded and
congested city for safe transportation 4. Should be affordable by
without loss of time.” common people

5. With point to point connectivity

6. Better quality of travel:

a. Air conditioned

b. Virtually no wait

c. Safer than existing

systems – in view of
value of human life.

Though, some of the challenges are

met by other means of
transportation, Sky Bus is efficient
Why sky bus is safe? in meeting all the above specified
requirements and challenges and
The present Railway Technology
serves the public.
used in metros, suffer from a fundamental
technology defect of derailment and Some of Salient points of Sky
separation of travelling coach from the Bus:
railway track, falling down on the ground
killing people. So long as wheels are on 1. Sky bus is innovative solution
rail, the coach runs, but failure of rails, to the problems of derailments
obstruction or even heavy wind force can and collisions of conventional
create a dangerous situation. But when metros.
wheels climb the 25 to 30 mm flange, go
2. The core functionality of
over the rail and derailment occurs. Such
dynamics of suspended coaches
capsizing can kill people inside the coach
has been tested and proven
as well as those on the road below.
according to international
safety norms in the year 2004.
3. The costs also are demonstrated is unique advantage of Sky
to be most competitive. Hence Bus.
Rs. 50 crores + / - per route
kilometer is practical 12. Employment is also provided in
commercial cost for executing the construction purpose of Sky
a sky bus project. Bus @ 250 persons for every
10 km.
4. Each and every technology
element included in sky bus 13. Coaches are made maintenance
project is tested and proven in free in case of Sky Bus system.
live harsh environments and all 14. The advantage of Sky Bus is
the test limits exist in safer that polycarbonate sheets are
boundaries that are laid down fixed around it to take care of
by international standards. any vandal activity.
5. Sky bus comes to state with no 15. The Sky Bus is fully –
financial risk to Government, computerized:
being financially viable.
a. Self – identification in
6. Sky bus may be constructed need for attention ,
within 24 months and people
will be travelling in sky bus. b. Need based
maintenance with very
7. It is affordable for a common high degree of
man with least rate possible, reliability ,
according to the city
constructed, including air c. Minimized cost for the
conditioned travel, pollution bogies and track is
free and high quality of life maintenance free.
protection for people.
16. The Sky Bus costs about 2500
8. The construction and execution crores for a length of 50km, but
of sky bus occurs with least current elevated metro option
disturbance to daily city life. using conventional railway
system costs about 5000 crores,
9. No demolition of existing which is nearly 2 times the cost
structures is needed, and no of construction of Sky Bus.
extra land is to be utilized.

10. Adds additional urban space

every at 9000 m2/per km
between stations, a special
feature distinguishing sky bus.

11. Transportation of goods can be

handled by the Sky Bus, which
Fact about Sky Bus: His inventions cover Railway
Technologies, Anti – collision devices,
Sky Bus is the technology Sky Bus.
breakthrough that India has achieved. Sky
Bus is an improved Railway Technology, He is Mr. B. Raja Ram, the
eliminating the problems of existing metro inventor of Sky Bus Technology.
rail systems like derailments, collisions,
capsizing and crushing people, which they He holds degrees namely Bachelor
suffered for decades. of Engineering, Master of Technology,
Fellow of National Academy of
Why Sky Bus is so popular? Engineering, Fellow of Institution of
Engineers. He is a member of Indian
If it is invented by a student, or a Railway Service of Engineers.
research scientist who has no experience in
any railway field or no knowledge of He is the recipient of prestigious
railway sciences, then it may be not so FICCI national award for
But it is invented by such person, as adjudged by Justice Bhagawati
who is a bureaucrat, engineer, scientist, Committee.
manager and inventor. The inventor is first
class first Distinction Engineering
Graduate and an M. Tech from prestigious
IIT Kharagpur. He served a decade in
railway open line in various capacities,
another decade in railway research at
RDSO & IIT, worked in abroad as a
consultant till 1990.

He is involved in Konkan Railway

project from the beginning i.e., 1990. Then
he was promoted to cader Managing
Director and Director of many projects
related to Konkan Railway Corporation
Limited (KRCL) till January 2005.

He has own original contributions

of new theories regarding rail – wheel and
track – vehicle interactions, which are
Mr. Raja Ram Bojji
recognized and published by many World
Life member of
He has several patents (nearly 50),
around the globe, and in India for his
Computer Society of
valuable inventions. India
He believes it is in the realm of
reality to make food, travel,
communication and dwelling virtually free
to all humans on the plant through bold
application of science and technology to
infrastructure development.

He wants India to lead the world

in transportation, with Sky Bus
Technology, which makes railway systems
safer and financially affordable by even a
common man.

Technology of Sky Bus:

The basic concept of Sky

Bus is derived from the concept of Sky-
Wheels presented in 1989 at World
Congress for Railway Research.
In the Sky Bus technology, the
median in the middle of road is used to
raise columns to support 9.4 m wide
concrete box 2.4 m high, which houses
sky-guides and a powered bogie and can
run on the sky-guides at speed up to 100
kmph .The coaches are suspended from the
bogie frame running overhead and thus are
designed for lighter crush loads as
compared to normal railway coaches.
Tremendous savings are achieved in
systems design.
Advantages of Sky Bus over other In the view of Safety:
1. Sky Bus is derailment proof
These advantages are categorized in and by design can never get
different kinds: separated for the railway tracks,
so there is no capsizing of
1. Performance coaches.
2. Safety 2. Sky Bus is protected from
3. Land & Protection to existing collisions, as it travels at higher
buildings levels than roads.

4. Capital and running costs In the view of Land & Protection to

existing structures:
5. Construction
1. Sky Bus has short stations of
6. Charges 50m length, adequate for next
50 – 75years of traffic growth,
7. Financial viability
combining the local bus stop.
In the view of Performance:
2. Occupies only the road divider
1. Sky bus can be scalable to with 1m wide pillars, the Sky
handle 20K to 80K pphpd, bus is travelling about 6m
which mono – rail and metro above the roads.
rail cannot.
3. The Sky Bus can be designed
2. Sky Bus handles cargo for the to take 20m radius curvature,
city – in containers as well as hence no buildings will be
trucks as a whole lifted and affected which are following
delivered to required points. So existing roads.
truck pollution is eliminated.
4. These can reach the places,
Existing metro’s cannot. Mono
where buses can reach, but the
– rails cannot even be
point is somewhat at a distance
higher in level.
3. Speeds are same and somewhat
5. If Sky Bus unit of 20m length
better than railways i.e., 100
is designed, then it can carry
kmph to 110 kmph, depending
300 – 430 pphpd, while other
on inter – station distances.
metros cannot.

6. Least land utilization, almost

nothing compared to others is

7. Even the depot areas etc., Sky

Bus can make use of space
above existing Bus depots – In the view of Charges:
without fresh land acquisition.
1. At Rs. 250.00 only, per person
8. Sky Bus is a railway per 500 km of air – condition
technology, with maximum travel anywhere to anywhere,
feasibility options like Bus – in a month, it is affordable for
while other metro options regular city commuter.
cannot help in this.
2. Minimum entry charges are of
In the view of Capital and Running Rs. 5.00 only will apply and
Costs: floating or occasional users will
be charged Rs. 2.00 per km.
1. The capital cost per km of
double line route, including 3. Other modes of transportation,
rolling – stock and train control do not offer such low rates.
is Rs. 50 crores on average + / -
10%. In the view of Financial Viability:

2. Maintenance costs are much 1. Fare – box collections coupled

lower in the Sky Bus – with commercial exploitation at
components are smaller, tracks the additional urban space
are maintenance – free, the created by Sky Bus, produces a
coach bodies are designed to be 15 – 20% return to the investor.
maintenance – free. 2. The Sky Bus returns the capital
3. The energy in Sky Bus, is used of construction within 7 to 10
to carry more people than in years.
Metro Rails, which carries 3. “The Sky Bus construction
more dead loads. goes on without Government
In the view of Construction: funding component”.

1. Sky Bus uses factory produced Components of Sky Bus:

pre – fabricated technologies
The system Sky Bus
with post tensioning and causes
consists of several conventional and some
least disturbance to the daily
new proven technologies, which makes the
life of city during construction.
Sky bus more efficient. These are designed
2. It takes around 24 months to so that to keep the sky bus moving without
complete because of minimum any defect and to give the passengers the
problems of land and parallel ultimate comfort along with other
activities of pre – fabricated luxurious facilities which they cannot get
structures. in the local buses or in trains.

3. Other metro rails take 5 to 7

years in construction.
Components are:

a. Sky Way

b. Sky Bogies

c. Sky Coaches

d. Sky Stations

e. Traverser arrangements at

Sky Way:
Sky Bogie:
1. In the middle of the road way,
1. Standard two axle bogies used
pile foundations support 1 m
in metros for speeds of 100
dia column approx. 8m high,
kmph are used, which gain
and spaced at 15m all along the
speed up to a maximum of 160
road way.
kmph of standard gauge.
2. The Sky way consists of a
2. Linear induction motor
concrete box structure carried
technology is incorporated,
over a series of piers at a height
with 3 phase AC motors with
of 8m above the existing road
regenerative power capability.
3. Braking - bogie mounted.
3. In short, Sky Way is the way in
which the Sky Bus travels a. Disc Brakes are
along the road, but at higher provided.
b. Emergency mechanical
4. Sky Way consists of two rails brakes are also
fixed with appropriate provided, in case of any
fastenings with in concrete box emergency.
support and guide the Sky
Sky Station:

1. Unlike conventional mass

transit systems, Sky Bus needs
smaller stations.

2. Totally computerized control,

access control is also electronic
by prepaid cards being swiped
Sky Coaches: in.

1. Double walled light shells with 3. Stations act as only access

wide large windows are facility, and not as passenger
suspended from the sky bogies. holding area.

2. Air – conditioned and with Traverser:

automatic doors are provided. 1. Traverser is the system which
3. Audio visual information is automatically shifts the Sky
provided to passengers, for Bus units for balancing the
easy understanding of sky loads / changing routes too as
stations. well as shift units to depot lines
4. Special 4m wide or 2m x 2m
wide sliding doors are provided For Designing purpose:
for quick entry and exit of Even in case of designing, the Sky
passengers. Bus is easier to design in structural point
5. Each pair carries 300 persons. of view.

6. Service is possible in every 30 The design loads are:

seconds or one minute. a. Weight of bogie : 5t
b. Tare weight of coach : 6.5 t hence is safer than existing rail
– based system.
c. Passenger load :
9t 4. The system is noise – free,
pollution – free with
d. Weight of equipment : 2t 18000pphpd to scalable to
e. Axle load : 12 t 72000 pphpd as required.

f. Total for a bogie : 24 t 5. It is a unique mass transit

system which can be put up
within two years in any
crowded and congested city.

6. In addition to moving people,

Sky Bus can carry 20 ft
containers, boosting its
capacity utilization to double
that of other existing systems.

Description of Sky Bus:

1. Heavy 52 / 60 kg /m rails
placed at standard gauge
floating in elastic medium and
damped by inertia of measured
mass held at 8m x 2m box
enclosure, supported over a 1m
dia columns placed at 15m
distance from each other.

2. The fixed structure at 8m

height above road level is
aesthetically pleasing and there
is no concern of claustrophobic
feeling for road users.

3. Aesthetic and eco – friendly,

the Sky Bus can never derail,
capsize nor collide, by design
as well as by construction,
Working Principle of Sky Bus

Our Country’s Technology, Sky Bus is an improved railway technology. It can carry
18K to 72K pphpd, with 100kmph and air – conditioned travel.

The two problems suffered by railway technology are derailment and separation of
travelling coach from the rails.

As long as the wheels are on the rails, the coach runs.

But failure of rails / obstruction by a heavy wind force may

create dangerous situations.

When the wheels climb 25 to 30 mm flange, then derailment

If derailment occurs, then there is nothing to hold the coach,
then the coach just topples.

Such falling of coach can kill people inside the coach and
also people on the road, if any.


Suppose a standard railway coach running on a railway

The under frame with standard railway wheel – set running
on a railway track…

The under frame remains the same, railway wheels run on

the same track, coach is firmly attached to under frame

The under-frame with wheels and railway traction

motors & railway track enclosed in the concrete
box- travel on the railway track , carrying the coach
below outside the concrete box- now the coach and
the track are positively held together- cannot escape
from rails!

• The railway bogies in conventional

system have propensity to lose
Safety Measures: control on derailment, but
• Compared to conventional railway additional safety in Sky Bus bogie
systems, the centre of gravity of the is that we have derailment
mass being carried on the wheels is arresters, which prevents the wheel
brought down to be closer to the from jumping off the rails. So we
wheel support. Hence dynamic are ensuring that there is no
safety is many times improved. derailment. Safety factor built into
multiple suspenders.
• In conventional railway wind can
topple the trains. In Sky Bus wind In Future:
cannot topple- there is positive link After the successful test run
between the rail guidance system of the sky bus in its test track in Madgaon
and the Bus Coaches- with 400%. Goa, The Indian Railway has recognized
its work efficiency and found it as the our cities, take out almost 10 million road
future of mass communication in the urban vehicles in the cities and make the cities
areas. The Sky bus has proved its livable, improving quality of life and
attract and sustain economic activity to
generate wealth.

effectiveness in various sectors in all the

tests it has gone through. Hence the Sky
bus has proposed by the Railway
department in following cities
of India, Ahmedabad, Pune, Kochi,
Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Pondicherry,
Ranchi, Shimla, Thane, Bhubaneswar,
Bangalore, Chennai Coimbatore Delhi,
Goa, Gurgaon and Hyderabad.


The Sky bus is the technology

breakthrough that India has achieved. Sky
bus is an improved railway technology,
eliminating the problems of existing metro
rail systems, like, derailments collisions,
and capsizing crushing people. Old
conventional railway men, who remained
basically operating and maintenance
experts, may take a little time to
appreciate, but the fact remains. Sky bus is
an improved railway technology
eliminating their fears of derailments and
capsizing from which they suffered for

Financially Sky bus Metro makes

urban transport a dream come true for
administrators- virtually free gift to people
without Government fund in

What needs to be done is to

eliminate the doubting Thomas in our
minds, and adopt the Sky bus, if we want
to really solve the urban transport crisis.
The Sky Bus metro is one single
technology which can change the face of