South African transport group Transnet is working with manufacturer RailPro to test a road-rail bus on a 21km route between Cullinan and Mamelodi. Five RailBus vehicles are being used to prove the concept ahead of a more detailed feasibility study. Built on the chassis of an Isuzu 8 tonne lorry, the RailBus has retractable rail wheels in addition to its rubber-tyred road wheels. Isuzu has expressed interest in producing the vehicle at its South African plant, and Tata and Volvo subsidiary UD Trucks have issued standard warranties for RailPro's designs. The prototypes have been developed with the aid of a grant from the SAB Foundation. RailPro envisages that future costs could be met through social impact funding or crowdfunding. RailPro says that the vehicle can run for up to 6km per litre of diesel when on rail, leading to fuel cost savings of up to 50% compared with a conventional diesel bus.
Railway Gazette International, Aug. 2018. p.20.