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Opportunities Abound for Transporting Goods by Tram — If Properly Coordinated

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-11 08:51 AM
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Opportunities Abound for Transporting Goods by Tram — If Properly Coordinated

from the Transport Politic blog:



Opportunities Abound for Transporting Goods by Tram — If Properly Coordinated
Yonah Freemark

October 23rd, 2011 |


Though a proposal in Amsterdam has been abandoned and freight transport in Zurich and Dresden is limited, Paris considers options for using its new tramways to move goods to stores.


There was a lot of excitement in the transportation press in mid-2007 when Amsterdam signed a deal to allow the transport of local goods by tramway beginning in 2008. In theory, fifty light rail trains operated by a company called CityCargo would move freight from warehouses to local stores without interruption along the city’s existing and extensive passenger tracks, reducing the need for trucks in the city center by half while cutting down on pollution significantly. A network of 600 electric trucks would move the freight minimal distances from the trains to the stores.

Unfortunately, the company fell short of its goal to raise the €150 million necessary to commence operations and the city refused to subsidize the project, so the project died even before the project could come into being.

Needless to say, the concept still has currency in European cities that are looking to reduce traffic and clean the air and which have tramway tracks running through some of their most congested areas. In 2001, VW implemented the CarGo tram between a logistics site and an automobile factory in the center of Dresden, creating a carbon-free mechanism to transport parts along 3 km of passenger lines. Zurich uses CargoTrams — old tramway vehicles, such as those pictured above — to move recycling. Vienna attempted a similar experiment a few years’ back, but never implemented it despite successful results. These projects are of limited scale, so their effects have been similarly small.

A new experiment called TramFret in Paris, however, could transform the way cities think about moving goods from place to place by establishing a regionwide system by which freight like groceries can be moved between distribution facilities and stores by electric tram. Experimentation will begin next month, with full implementation possible by 2014; positive results could show that rail can play an important role in moving freight not just at the intercity scale but also within regions, a market now completely dominated by trucks. But the success of the project will require significant coordination between competing stores and it will need to be carefully planned to as to avoid conflicts with passenger transit routes. ............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2011/10/23/opportuni... /



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