City Cargo

City Cargo_Delivery Tram

City Cargo is dead. After a long struggle the experiment to deliver goods by streetcar was terminated this week by the local government in Amsterdam.

The wonderfully counter-intuitive idea of City Cargo is to use the existing infrastructure for streetcars in a new way: to replace Trucks with Trams. Clean and safe.

According to the City Cargo website presently, more than half of the particulate matter in emissions in the city are caused by diesel traffic. More than 35% of emissions derive from goods transport.

City Cargo aims to take out half the number of trucks that enter the city. In Amsterdam it would mean cutting the number from 5000 to 2500 a day. In Europe alone over 240 cities have tram systems.

Form delivery points outside the city center the trams will take the goods to several hubs throughout the center from where the delivery to the final destinations will be handled by small electric vehicles, the so-called e-cars. Exactly this might be the bug in the system. Considering the size of Amsterdam (and many other cities with tram lines) the hubs can be located strategically just outside the center and the cargo trams in principle can be taken out of the loop…

In Saint Malo we just came across a similar initiative. The ‘petit train’ normally serves as a tourist trap but also picks up recyclable trash from the city center… le ‘petit train’ is deployed as garbage truck!

Le Petit Train as Garbage Truck

le Petit Train Saint Malo

7 Responses to “City Cargo”

  1. Tom Zunder Says:

    In my honest opinion, this was always a nonsensical scheme that increased handling, delivery times and costs. It required subsidy and damaged service..

  2. Michael F. Sarabia Says:

    The world has to adopt the solution of City Cargo or give up city cargo travel. It may be that either City Cargo survives or nobody survives.
    To wait is not an option.

  3. Tom Zunder Says:

    Great slogan. But the solution is the wrong one.

  4. mc Says:

    A freight tram service works in Dresden. However, that has single start and finish locations.

  5. Madame Moreau Says:

    In Saint Malo we just came across a similar initiative. The ‘petit train’ normally serves as a tourist trap but also picks up recyclable trash from the city center… le ‘petit train’ is deployed as garbage truck!

    We are the owners of Le Petit Train de Saint Malo and we would like to inform you that we do not appreciate your commentary that we pick up the garbage ! In Saint MALO there are 2 trains, one a private company (ourselves) intalled since 1988 and the garbage train belonging to the town since 1994. Anyway just to give you a precision that the garbage train does not exist anymore so we would like you to take this article of your website.
    Please click on our website for more information :
    Best regards

  6. Paschberg Says:

    The solution is the right one. O course Tom Zunders argument “handling costs” might locally viewed be right – as this is the reason why at the moment cars are appropriate. But this is only due to the low fossile energy costs.
    The mode of transport on rails is more energy efficient (approximatley 3 to 4 times). European Transport efficiency in general has lowered about 50% in the past 60 years – obviously correlating to the rise of car traffic. As energy for machines will grow more expensive in the following years than work (machines are reasonable less efficient than the human body) only machines will survive that use ther given energy really at the best. Rail has proven this already from 1820 to the 1940´ies (look e.g. for this pivtures ) . And human workforce will gain impotance due to sustainability. The autmobile will not survive economically.
    O course freight transport per bike might be the best solution – but it doesn´t work for all things 😉

  7. Weider Guy Says:

    Tram freight service is a great idea ! City Cargo was a bright initiative ! Why has it failed?
    As many towns in Europe, France and elsewhere have reintroduced trams this is even a brighter idea as fully in the respect of planet life protection mesures and anti-greenhousegases-initiatives.
    What happened to the equipment tram-freight-carrier which seemed to exist according to photos on the website unless just artist-view?
    Please give us reactualiszed news if initiative has restarted somewhere.
    Many Thanks & Best Regards
    Guydegif(91 – France)

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