Delft University of Technology
Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
Transport Technology / Logistic Engineering

G.B. Oude Elberink Bi-modale systemen.
Literature survey, Report 91.3.LT.2961, Transport Technology, Logistic Engineering.

Three bi-modal systems are discussed in this report. A bi-modal system is a combined road-rail system, of which the trailer can be transferred into a part of the train. At the frontside and at the backside of the trailer a boogie is placed, and so the trailer becomes a trainunit. For transferring the trailer to the rail mode no equipment is necessary. Several different types of the bi-modal systems are developed, of which three are discussed in this report. These three systems are the KombiTrailer system, the Coda-E system and the RoadRailer system.

Of the three compared system, the KombiTrailer system is the best system. This system has the lowest own-weight and it is the quickest system for transferring from road to rail and otherwise. The Coda-E and RoadRailer systems are heavier and slower to transfer.

The advantages of the bi-modal systems are the lower costs, compared to the nowadays used systems like containers and swap bodies, and a second advantage is the lower consumption of energy necessary for the transportation of the loadunits. Bi-modal systems also have some disadvantages. The first disadvantage is the low flexibility; the second disadvantage is the rather long transfer time compared to the transfer of containers and swap bodies. Beside these disadvantages the managing of the boogie also asks for some attention.

Compared to the results achieved by the transportation by road, the bi-modal systems only show advantages in lower energy consumption and a operational costs reduction. Towards all other aspects the performance of road transportation is better.

So, concluding it is not to be expected that the bi-modal systems will be used frequently, because compared to the nowadays used systems the bi-modal systems show too few advantages.

Reports on Logistic Engineering (in Dutch)
Modified: 2000.04.29; , TU Delft / 3mE / TT / LT.