luas freight?

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    • #709675

      reckon we could get luas freight into existence any time in the next decade? I see there was a pilot called city cargo on in Amsterdam (between 7 March and 3 April) It was inspired by the light rail freight system which is used in the transparent VW factory in Dresden

      Has anybody been to Amsterdam recently and actually seen this? I was in Dresden but unfortunately I didnt get to see their freight system.

      Here are some pics

    • #794725

      This is something I’d love to see happen in Toronto. They are to replace about 250 streetcars with low floor LRVs over the next decade – if as is mooted the streetcar network extends to Pearson Airport I’d love to see a fleet of high floor LRVs gutted and remade as cargo transporters, possibly coupled to facilitate operation in areas with crossovers rather than loops.

    • #794726

      seems complicated to get the cargo out and onto small trucks etc

    • #794727

      really? i would have thought it would be far easier. its just a matter of unloading with one of those mini fork lift things which are very maneuverable and quite fast. Doors open – fork lift drives up collects crate – doors close tram moves up to the next stop. I couldn’t see the whole thing taking more than a minute or two. Compare this with trying to find parking for a HGV (usually parked on the pavement) then the driver has to get out, find the goods, put them on the lift, wait while it lowers and then transfer it to a fork lift, get back into the truck and try to merge back into traffic. You are looking at at least 5 mins.

      Im thinking that it would work really well with the veg market at Smithfield, but is this being relocated?

    • #794728

      I can speak with some authority on this issue as I have been studying the Dresden and Zurich Cargo Tram operations in depth over the last few years.

      Once Dublin has the all tram and metro lines within T21 are completed. The Cargo Tram system should be adopted. The container technology for these operations are being developed all over the world at the moment. The most promising consignments would be household and office rubbish being brought to the incinerator at Poolbeg from locations as diverse as Citywest, Bray and Dublin Airport.

      This would be one of the most intelligent uses of the Dublin tram and metro system once up and running. MetroWest in particular has much promise in this regard. Off the shelf fright trams could be used in Dublin – no special gauge issues. The RPA should be approaching potential Cargo Tram operators and logistics companies about developing a future network.

      Freight was moved in large quantities on the original Dublin tram network in the past. There is nothing new in all this.

      All it takes is a bit of foresight, imagination and savvy. 🙁 But it’s highly possible and there is massive potential.

    • #794729

      @oswaldcobblepot wrote:

      really? i would have thought it would be far easier. its just a matter of unloading with one of those mini fork lift things which are very maneuverable and quite fast. Doors open – fork lift drives up collects crate – doors close tram moves up to the next stop.

      It is even easier than that. Current systems being developed will be along the lines of container being loaded onto the trams by the tram wagons themselves. The container placed beside the tram track are loaded during the day by the customer. When full, a signal is sent to the Cargo Tram and it pulls up along side it, reads the barcode for delivery information, grabs the container and slides it sideways into the tram flatcar and off it goes. The entire operation is not only forklift free, but requires only a tram driver.

      Once system being developed in Japan can load 20 containers on a tram within 15 minutes. Just think of all the white vans you could take out of Dublin with something like that.

    • #794730

      Its great to see that someone is actually looking into this, when I first heard about the Amsterdam project I wondered why light rail freight was never discussed in Ireland.

      Where else is it being used or considered? I presume from your post that it is viable on metro also? Clearly there are greater speed benefits, but how does the customer gain access to the metro stop? I’d imagine that would be quite expensive. The movement of waste on one of these systems is quite interesting and the enclosed carriages or containers would have obvious advantages in an urban environment.

      Showing that the movement of goods and waste by light rail is possible might win over those retailers who opposed previous Luas lines arguing that it would be impossible to move goods. I’m sure that the operators of the incinerator would be intrigued by the idea too. The benefits to air quality would be immense, I wouldn’t have soot on my window and perhaps the spire would not actually have to be cleaned.

      Do you have any links or know of any literature on the subject?

    • #794731

      cute panda do you have any links and pics of old dublin freight trams, it would be good as way to promote the idea

    • #794732

      here is a pdf on Zurich’s cargo tram service which is collecting waste and delivering it to incinerators

      here is a picture gallery of Dresden’s cargo trams

      and a wikipedia entry

      And it appears that the Amsterdam pilot was a success!

      Amsterdam to develop cargo transport by tram (News Feature)

      By Rachel Levy Jul 9, 2007, 14:27 GMT

      Amsterdam – CityCargo BV signed a ten-year contract on Monday with the Amsterdam municipality to develop cargo transport in Amsterdam by freight tram. The first ten trams will start running mid-2008.

      The contract follows a successful pilot scheme in March, when CityCargo tested its capability to let cargo trams use existing tram tracks without disturbing the passenger tram schedule.

      ‘This was the municipality’s main concern,’ explains Jupijn Haffmans, CityCargo spokesman. ‘We demonstrated that by driving immediately behind the passenger trams, we can operate without hindering the existing passenger tram schedule.’

      The contract CityCargo signed requires close cooperation with Amsterdam tram company GVB. ‘We basically use their schedule to determine when we drive to which direction,’ says Haffmans.

      The medieval inner city of Amsterdam is known for its many narrow streets and canals. Stores and companies often experience great difficulty transporting their cargo. Due to municipality regulations, lorries are only allowed allowed to deliver their goods between 7 and 11 am, causing them to be stuck in the morning traffic.

      Haffmans: ‘We will start with ten cargo trams, but we intend to operate fifty trams within the next four years. Ultimately, our freight trams should replace 2,500 trucks per day in the inner city. That is approximately half of the daily truck load.’

      CityCargo says its tram project will reduce city congestion, saving everyone time and money. In addition, replacing petrol-filled trucks by electrically-powered tram cars is expected to reduce air pollution dramatically.

      The system works as follows. Instead of driving directly to their destination, trucks will now go to four designated distribution centres, called cross docks. They are strategically located in western suburbs, close to Schiphol Airport. This way, inbound goods arriving at Schiphol can also be taken into the inner city aboard the freight trams.

      At the cross docks, goods will be transferred from trucks to tram cars. They will be sorted by delivery area before being loaded aboard the trams for the journey to inner-city transshipment hubs.

      From there, the goods will be delivered in a finely-meshed network by electrically powered ‘e-cars.’ These vehicles will be used for ‘the last mile’ to the delivery address.

      The freight trams will be allowed to load and unload outside the goods delivery window.

      According to current calculations, tram cargo transportation takes fifteen extra minutes compared with direct truck transportation. However, CityCargo claims the expenses of the cargo tram delivery are fifteen per cent less than those of truck delivery.

      Haffmans: ‘Our services are particularly attractive for businesses who need to transport small cargo loads, such as restaurants, boutique stores, and small firms.’

      Peter van der Sterre, policy consultant of EVO, a Dutch organisation of companies dealing with cargo transport as part of their core business, said:

      ‘This is an important initiative. Cargo transport in Amsterdam is difficult. Any idea enhancing cargo transport is applaudable. However, the freight tram is only a good alternative for small companies. Financially it does not pay off for big stores like supermarket chains or department stores, who need to transport full truck loads.’

      Therefore, Van der Sterre explains, EVO’s support to CityCargo was conditional: ‘We needed the municipality to guarantee companies would not be forced to use the trams, but could retain freedom of choice concerning their preferred way of cargo transportation.’

      Meanwhile, Haffman says CityCargo is receiving calls from around the world.

      ‘Two delegations from Tokyo visited us. San Francisco is interested in setting up a similar tram cargo network. In the Netherlands, the cities of Utrecht and Rotterdam expressed an interest. On the European level Brussels, Ghent, Riga, Prague and Lisbon have approached us.’

      Van der Sterre is a bit more cautious: ‘To become successful, CityCargo will need to cover not only the inner city, but the whole metropolitan area of Amsterdam, Utrecht or Rotterdam. Companies want one cargo company to look after all their needs.’

      Other European cities are exploring cargo tram transportation too. Dresden in Germany has a regular CarGoTram service carrying car parts across the city centre to its Volkswagen factory. Vienna, Austria and Zurich, Switzerland use trams as mobile recycling depots.

      © 2007 dpa – Deutsche Presse-Agentur

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