AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE BENEFITS AND CONSTRAINTS OF SHIFTING FREIGHT TRAFFIC FROM ROADS ONTO HIGH-SPEED RAILWAYS
Free (open access)
541 - 551
INARA WATSON, AMER ALI, ALI BAYYATI
The environmental, economic and social impacts associated with the continuing increase in the global freight transport has necessitated more than ever the need for a more effective and sustainable freight transport system. High Speed Railways (HSR) may provide the solution as they have the ability to move goods quickly, safely and economically which can sufficiently improve the trade links within vast regions such as the European Union and extend that to Asian countries. The major issues concerning freight transport are greenhouse gas emissions and dependency on fossil fuel which mean that railway freight transport particularly HSR freight would be the most competitive mode. Many countries have invested in developing HSR but at present, HSR is more regularly used for passengers than for freight although there are an increasing number of countries who operate HSR freight services. Some HSR systems are not profitable as the demand for travel is not sufficient and there is a significant larger haulage capacity available, and thus they need additional funding from governments. Shifting freight from roads onto railways will improve the economic performance of HSR, reduce the amount of fuel used by the transport industry and reduce the greenhouse gas emission. This research considers the future trends and possibilities of shifting freight from roads to HSR lines and analyses the operational and technological constrains concerning freight traffic and the corresponding capabilities of HSR. Most of the data and information used in the research are gathered from relevant online sources including in depth research of the HSR in selected countries, available railway statistics and European and Institutional publications. The expected outcome of this research may contribute to developing more suitable means to improve the economic, environmental and social sustainability of HSR particularly for freight transport.
high-speed railways, freight transport, impact, sustainability