• Freight on light rail? The Germans do it

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by Irish Chieftain
 
Would be a good idea for the US...if they could find a way to do transfers to FRA rail...

(Pic here)
Last edited by Irish Chieftain on Sat May 28, 2005 12:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

  by walt
 
That would simply be a re-incarnation of the early 20th Century "Trolley freight" operations. Until the 1920's most of the larger traction companies ran trolley freight services, even in the big cities. The development of the motor truck killed most of these services, especially the city-based services, in the 1920's, although many interurbans provided freight service right up until WWII, and some even later. In fact, most of the larger midwestern interurbans were able to survive and keep running as long as their freight operations were viable. When these operations died, so did the interurbans.

Many of the interurbans had freight interchange locations with the then steam railroads, and some even provided power for the standard railroad freight cars as they ran over interurban trackage, though most trolley or interurban freight cars were smaller "trolley-size" cars which were more suitable to the extensive street running found on most of these systems.

Even back "in the day". however, the interurbans often battled with the local town councils over what periods of the day interurban freight trains could be operated. It seems that having eight car freight trains squeeling and winding their way through city or town streets was not the most popular situation. Because of this, many towns had a two car limit on trolley freight train lengths, except during overnight hours.

  by drewh
 
There's no way I would want this on HBLRT. I get upset enough when I see it on the NEC. Several times I've been stuck on the NEC because some freight pulled down the catenary.

Just what you need on your way to/from work - crawl behind some freight. Passenger services should remain for passengers. Freight doesn't run on HSR tracks in Europe.

  by David Benton
 
would be ideal for containers , easy to interchange at a intermodal terminal

  by DutchRailnut
 
Don't forget that in Europe Heavy rail and Light rail are not far apart in axle loadings.
A freight car in Europe is normaly in 80 ton total range max for a 20 ton axle loading.
in USA the axle loading is near 40 ton mark

  by Irish Chieftain
 
I wasn't suggesting that streetcars haul double-stackers around, or coal cars... :P perhaps a few boxcars or suchlike—and street-running tracks, as well as modern LRT tracks (in the US, they're built pretty much to FRA standards with a few exceptions), can handle quite high axle loads.
drewh wrote:Just what you need on your way to/from work - crawl behind some freight. Passenger services should remain for passengers. Freight doesn't run on HSR tracks in Europe
Consider though:
  • LRT and HSR are as far apart as you can get on rails, so that's a bit of an apples/oranges comparison
  • You get to "crawl behind some freight" daily with smelly diesel delivery trucks, if you're driving on the street or the highway
  • The German example above, I am sure, is not dispatched in such a way that it deliberately interferes with the passenger operations, unlike what would happen in the US, so no "crawling" would occur.

  by george matthews
 
Irish Chieftain wrote: [*]The German example above, I am sure, is not dispatched in such a way that it deliberately interferes with the passenger operations, unlike what would happen in the US, so no "crawling" would occur.[/list]
I think it is in Dresden. There is a special freight tram that transfers parts from one factory to another. I assume that they are not all that frequent. Dresden has a very extensive tram system. The freight tram is basically a passenger car without seats and with loading doors in the appropriate part. It uses the same power supplies.

  by walt
 
george matthews wrote:The freight tram is basically a passenger car without seats and with loading doors in the appropriate part. It uses the same power supplies.
This is what the old early 20th Century U.S Trolley Freight Cars were ( though there were some that were built as freight cars)--- This is not a new concept by any means.

  by Thomas I
 
That's the Volkswagen-Freight-Tram in Dresden.

It served the "Gläserne Fabrik" (Transparent factory) where Volkswagen built the VW Phaeton. It delivered car-parts from Dresden's Freight Railway Station.

Light Rail in Germany is not alone a question of axle-loadings. In Germany it is also a question of law.

Light Rail vehicles must have shorter braking distances and are allowed to travel in view and not after signals....
Last edited by Thomas I on Sun Sep 18, 2005 5:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

  by David Benton
 
Thanks for the information Thomas I , and welcome to the worldwide forum .