Swiss underground goods conveyance network gets go ahead21 September 2021
Cargo sous terrain (CST), the proposed system for transporting goods within Switzerland through tunnels linking production/distribution sites with urban centres has been given the green light by the country’s parliament.
The effect of the wholly private-sector city logistics system to convey goods into the smart cities of the future is believed will reduce urban delivery traffic by up to 30% and noise emissions by 50%.
Goods will be transported to and from hubs around the clock on electric, driverless vehicles running in three-track tunnels. Hubs will be connected to all surface and air transportation systems. The refrigeration compatible vehicles will travel at around 30km/hr and can pick up and deposit loads automatically. An overhead track fixed to the tunnel roof is for smaller packages.
CST is based on micro-distribution, where goods are already bundled in the tunnel and can be delivered to sales outlets and end users from the hubs. This avoids the need for every supplier to deliver goods individually.
Detailed planning can now start for the first section of the 500km-long network which will connect Härkingen-Niederbipp to Zurich, a distance of around 70km and which will have 10 hubs. Construction of this first section will begin in 2026 and should be operational in 2031.
The full network length between Lake Constance and Lake Geneva is scheduled for completion by 2045 and will also branch to Basel, Lucerne and Thun. Total cost is estimated to be around US$3.23bn and includes hubs, software, underground and overground vehicles.