As presented in Zurich, the Cargo Sous Terrain (CST) group announced a plan for an underground transport tube for goods stretching across Switzerland. According to CST, forecasts conducted by the federal office for regional development and roads show an increase in freight traffic in 2030 by 45 percent from levels in 2010. The currently existing traffic system will be overloaded and faces increasing difficulties absorbing the rising amount of freight traffic. A feasibility study conducted by CST confirms that the technical and commercial viability.
Connections with other cities in Switzerland like Geneva, St. Gallen, Basel or Lucerne will follow
It is planned to extend the underground transport tube gradually from 2030. The first connection is put into operation by 2030 between Härkingen-Niederbipp in the canton and Solothurn to Zurich with more than 65 kilometers. The costs for this first route section are now estimated at CHF3.5 billion ($3.4 billion). Connections with other cities in Switzerland like Geneva, St. Gallen, Basel or Lucerne will follow.
The completely automated loading and unloading takes place in the transhipment points
The transport system comprises two elements: An underground transport tube plus an efficient and an environmentally friendly fine distribution in the urban centres. Electrically driven transport vehicles will deliver goods automated and unmanned in a three-lane tunnel and a velocity of 30 kilometers an hour. The system runs all-day. The completely automated loading and unloading takes place in the transhipment points. Quiet and clean car transporter collect and distribute the goods in the city centres.
It is also expected to cut down a considerable amount of carbon dioxide emissions and noise pollution. Compared with conventional transport methods, carbon dioxide emissions will be 80 percent lower per tonne of goods. The system will completely be powered with energy from renewables.