Development of a Freight Tram: The Project “regioKArgo” Accelerates

In recent months, several project partners have come together under the motto "regioKArgo" to investigate and implement new forms of loads and delivery traffic in Karlsruhe and the surrounding region in order to increasingly shift these transport operations from road to rail on the one hand, and to make the last mile of the supply chain emission-free on the other.

The constantly increasing delivery traffic poses growing challenges to local authorities, such as the City of Karlsruhe, as well as to haulage and logistics companies. With a view to commercial traffic, this tense and further aggravating situation increasingly causes problems and bottlenecks - both on the part of haulage and transport companies, e.g. concerning the vehicle availability and the recruitment of employees, and on the part of local authorities and their inhabitants, who are suffering from the growing traffic load.
In order to provide lasting relief and greater climate and environmental protection, converted trams could be used for the transport of goods, among other things. The exchange between the cities and the supply of the city centres would then take place bundled with these goods trams in the future – starting from so-called "consolidation centres". In Karlsruhe and possibly also in other cities and municipalities, "city hubs" would be created from which the goods could then be further delivered within the city in "fine distribution", e.g. by means of load bikes.

"The "Karlsruhe Model", which is well known from public transport and which has been successfully operated by the Karlsruhe Transport Company VBK and the Albtal Transport Corporation AVG for many years, also offers the best conditions for this application in order to enable a traffic turnaround also in the transport of goods and freights", states Ascan Egerer, technical managing director of VBK and AVG.
Well-known partners from the entire region are involved in the project "regioKArgo". The City of Karlsruhe is involved in the project through the Urban Planning Office. Mayor Daniel Fluhrer will play a leading role in the work of the steering committee as representative of the city. His objective: "The city’s quality of life is our top priority and innovative logistics and delivery concepts can make an important contribution to the reduction of traffic volume".

On the research side, the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, the study programmes Business Administration/Logistics and Commerce, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) with the Institute of Vehicle System Technology and the Institute for Transport Studies, the FZI Research Center for Information Technology as well as MARLO Consultants GmbH are involved. From the field of transport, the two municipal transportation companies of the Karlsruhe Transport Company (VBK) and the Albtal Transport Corporation (AVG) as well as DB Engineering & Consulting GmbH with its location in Karlsruhe are amongst the participants. In order to develop practicable solutions, several haulage companies, logistics service providers and further service companies are involved. The mobility network of the region, Automotive Engineering Network (aen), bundles the activities.

The past months were intensively used in order to form a project group and to establish a project structure for the further cooperation. "The overall project regioKArgo offers a great opportunity to accelerate the climate reversal for the City of Karlsruhe and the region through sustainable concepts as alternatives to the current forms of freight transport," says Waldemar Epple, Chairman of the Board of Directors of aen.

Within the project, work packages were defined which deal with the necessary partial aspects in depth and forward them. For example, a group of research partners and industrial companies led by the AVG prepares the "LogIKTram" project. In addition to the development of initial logistics and delivery concepts and basic modules for ICT-supported consolidation and transport planning, the main aim of this project is to design a first demonstrator for a freight tram and to test it as a pilot application already in 2022. It is planned to design the freight tram in such a way that it can be used exclusively for passenger transport during rush hours and in combined operation with passenger and freight transport during off-peak periods. The knowledge and experience gained in the project "LogIKTram" thus form a strong basis, which will then be profitably and efficiently incorporated into the more in-depth work of the overall project "regioKArgo". In the upcoming years, a coordinated overall concept is to be developed in order to bundle flows of goods by rail and transport them from the region to the city centres, making optimal use of the existing infrastructure of the "Karlsruhe Model".

With the development of the "Karlsruhe Model" as the world's first tram-train system, standards were set in the Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion already decades ago. "With regioKArgo, pioneering work can be done again in the TechnologyRegion", Mayor Daniel Fluhrer is also convinced.

Press contact

Michael Krauth
Phone: 0721 6107-7065
Email: Michael.Krauth@dont-want-spam.avg.karlsruhe.de

Nicolas Lutterbach
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Sarah Fricke
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Email: Sarah.Fricke@dont-want-spam.avg.karlsruhe.de