Rail Freight Systems: What Future?

Today, a variety of environmental problems threaten our world. We are witnesses to climate changes at the global level caused by environmental damage and ecological disproportions. Society must struggle with this imminent threat quickly and efficiently otherwise the situation will soon become irreversible. On one hand, unfortunately, statistical data for CO2 emissions in the European Community over the past years show undesirable stable states characterized with a slight increase, where, among all the sectors transportation contributes to CO2 total emissions by up to 25%. Conversely, freight transport continues to grow, with the largest increases being for the least energy efficient transport modes (i.e., road and air freight). Rail freight and inland waterways by contrast show a worrying decline in market share overall which is undoubtedly not a good thing. The authors believe that one possible way to change trends in the transportation sector is to modernize the existing railway freight systems and then strongly encourage freight forwarders to transport by rail. This will have a direct positive effect on the greenhouse gas emissions, and hence on the environment as a whole. In this paper, a comprehensive discussion on railway freight systems and prognoses of how these systems shall evolve in the coming future is provided.


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  • Accession Number: 01141946
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 15 2009 4:08PM