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

N.R.J. Langenkamp Intermodaal railvervoer in de Verenigde Staten.
Literature survey, Report 93.3.TT.4192, Transport Engineering and Logistics.

Intermodal rail transport in the United States has shown a enormous growth in the last years. It started at the end of the 1970s with creating a free transport-market by deregulation. The railroad companies could improve their earnings which allowed them to invest in equipment and infrastructure and boost their productivity. Especially the development of the double-stack system was very important. Today double-stack accounts for 30% of the total intermodal loadings, while nearly 50% of the loadings are trailers.

A bimodal trailer system, the RoadRailer, is also used in the United States. However, this trailers are rather expensive, the use of the RoadRailers is only efficient in some dedicated corridors.

A new generation locomotives is introduced. These have alternating-current traction motors, which deliver more traction compaired to conventional locomotives with direct-current motors.

With regard at the growing congestion and the environment, a further growth of the intermodal transport is expected. A lot of railroad companies are involved in merger and acquisition talks. Much equipment is acquired. Special trains are dedicated for intermodal transport in short hauls.

In Europe the first private owned railroad companies in Europe are expected within a few years. However, it will last for about 20 years at least before there will be intermodal transport at a big scale.

Reports on Transport Engineering and Logistics (in Dutch)
Modified: 2008.01.26; , TU Delft / 3mE / TT / LT.