Latest Rail News

25.05.12

Keep on trucking

The American preference for road over rail is well-established, but the latest idea to install OLE on a California highway for use by pantograph-equipped freight lorries is actually a German innovation.

The plans – aimed at cutting carbon and fuel use by 30%, and known as the ‘eHighway’ – were developed by Siemens and have been tested in Germany. The pilot project, however, on Interstate 710 which links LA to Long Beach, would be the first live implementation.

The trucks would be bi-mode, able to switch back to diesel when they leave electrified parts of the road network (sounds familiar…)

If successful and rolled out further, could the idea pose competitive problems for rail freight, whose revenue share has been on the decline in the US? Initial installation costs are high, but long-term maintenance much less so.

(Source: New Scientist, www.newscientist.com/blogs/onepercent/2012/05/green-machine-electric-freight.html )

Image: Siemens AG

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Jim Snowdon   25/05/2012 at 23:33

Not actually a new idea, having been previously developed in 1980 by Brecknell Willis for iron ore mining operations in South Africa. Although successful, the production orders for the pantographs went to a German competitor, Stemman Technik.

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