Dual-mode vehicle transportation systems of the auto-train and bus-train types are those systems in which one vehicle, adapted for highway use, and so used at one or both ends of a trip, is carried for an intermediate portion of the trip on another vehicle, which in this case is a railroad car designed for this use. These systems are to two types-those adapted to carry passenger automobiles, described as auto-train systems, and those adapted to carry buses and described as bus-train systems. These are two types of auto-train: those for long-haul trips of several hundreds of kilometers in which passengers ride in other passenger cars of the same train and those for short-haul service in which passengers remain in and ride in the automobiles. Bus-train services are adapted to some special classes of service: airport access, commuter service, and possible moderate-distance interregional travel. The short-haul auto-train is principally of value as a means of traversing a natural barrier, such as a mountain range or a body of water. Auto-train may also have carrier cars of the bus type in their consist, as well as carrier cars for trucks. The auto-train and bus-train applications of dual mode offer potentials for competitive types of service for both long-and relatively short-haul trips. There is an obvious weight penalty per passenger when a road vehicle containing the passengers is carried on a special railroad car. But under certain conditions, especially those requiring the availability of the automobile at both ends of the rail link, these systems offer capacities greater than those possible with purely highway systems, and also higher speeds. The latter should offset loading delays. Bus-train operation similarly has the weight disadvantage, but provides a one-seat ride and can also take passengers to destinations not on rail lines. It may also permit passengers to be transported in a freight mode of rail operation. In each of these applications, the ultimate criterion is economic: the ability of dual mode to provide competitive service. In particular, dual-mode applications of this type may offer potentials for service in situations where it could not otherwise be provided. /Author/

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    • This paper appears in Dual Mode Transportation, which is a publication containing the proceedings of a conference conducted by the Transportation Research Board, May 29-31, 1974. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board (TRB)

    Washington, DC   
  • Authors:
    • Miller, David R
    • Holden, William H T
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1976

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  • Accession Number: 00149236
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 15 1977 12:00AM