Trams can reduce HGV freight into Cities

Above – freight tram in Dresden since 2002.

Freight tram trials planned in Karslruhe

Freight tram trials planned in Karslruhe

Aug 22, 2020, Oliver Cuenca.
THE German city of Karlsruhe, in collaboration with Karlsruhe Transport (VBK) and Albtal Transport (AVG), has announced plans to begin trials of freight-carrying LRVs and tram-trains by 2022. It is hoped that the initiative will reduce road congestion and pollution in the city.

The project, dubbed regioKArgo, envisages the use of modified LRVs on the city’s extensive light rail network to transport freight, primarily consumer goods, between hubs in the city centre, from where it can be delivered to customers via electric bikes or other eco-friendly means.

The intention is that the vehicles can be easily adapted to transport either passenger or freight according to demand, removing the need for dedicated freight LRVs.

Software to support the planning and optimisation of capacity use on the vehicles is a key part of the project. The interface between the freight consolidation hubs where trams would be loaded and last mile delivery from the hubs is fundamental to making the concept a viable and economic proposition.

Support for the project is being provided by the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, the FZI Research Centre for Information Technology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), DB Engineering & Consulting and Marlo Consultants.

A dedicated freight LRV service has been in operation in Dresden to supply parts to a car factory in the city centre since 2001.

Trucks in Bath make 5 – 20 stops typically to unload a few wires baskets at each stop in some cases taking all day.

These baskets could easily be dropped at peripheral tram stops off peak, locked and tracked digitally and then dropped around the city to be wheeled to the final destination by Freight Marshals.  Huge savings for the hauliers to pay for Marshals.

For unknown reasons the Amsterdam project above failed – possible because the were going to use dedicated vehicles – we propose utilising ordinary passenger trams out of peak periods.




Above is a freight tram in Dresden – this could replace 8 HGVs since most HGVs entering Bath only drop off about half their load. These freight trams would be loaded at peripheral tram stops, so no freight consolidation centre is required, and HGVs can approach from any direction and offload without having to waste time entering parking multiple times.  This would cut cost dramatically for retailers.


Freight trams