Rail Freight and Sustainable Urban Distribution: Potential and Practice



Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - mode choice, policy - sustainable, place - urban, mode - rail


United Kingdom, Sustainable development, Sustainability, Railways, Railroads, Railroad transportation, Rail transportation, Mode choice, Modal shift, Modal choice, Modal analysis, Intermodal transportation, Intermodal systems, Great Britain, Freight transportation, Economic factors, Choice of transportation


How far can rail freight developments reduce lorry movements and promote sustainable urban distribution when planners discard economically infeasible projects? To expand current dedicated bulk long rail hauls, marginally viable, from Plymouth, U.K., potential rail traffic must tap capacity to treble output and cut unit costs. Potentially, aggregated inter-county bulk road movements imply viable train hauls from upgraded railhead facilities. Optimal configurations of enhanced loading, storage and processing facilities and port-railhead links proffer reduced ship demurrage costs with upgraded port handling and relocated petroleum-loading facilities creating employment and further reducing lorry movements. However, in practice, non-viable developments are not sustainable.


Journal of Transport Geography home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09666923