Endurance Test for Future Rail Freight
Sept. 17, 2000
The preliminary study 'Future Rail Freight'(Report B5) has shown that many innovations are feasible which could enable at best a 'factor-four' rail freight system (half the environmental impact and twice the economic productivity). Now, an in-depth survey of what is really feasible in the market, as well as a case study on single-wagonload traffic, have enabled better analyses of possible innovative strategies. In this respect, investments in operational and software components (e.g. information and communication) are more important than hardware (e.g. rolling stock and infrastructure). Radical modernisation as well as an opposite strategy, withdrawal to central transport routes, would be too risky. Instead, the authors recommend a compromise featuring flexible system adaptable to changing demands. The focus should be e.g. on alliances and information systems for improved customer services, swift standardisation of new technologies and, with regard to the environment, low-noise rolling stock, clean energy generation, and lower emission rates from diesel locomotives.
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