The aim of the CargoPV+ project is to develop a system for express shipments using dense passenger rail transport. Existing regular transport operations as well as high speeds over longer distances are to be used synergistically and climate-neutrally for the transport of (time-sensitive) shipments.

Client: BMK, Mobility of the Future, 17th call for tenders, 2021

Duration: February 2022 to January 2024 (24 months)

Project partners: Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Transportation; ÖBB Personenverkehr AG; N+P Austria GmbH; swissconnect ag; VELOBLITZ – Fuhrwerk Logistik GmbH

LOI partners: WKO – Austrian Federal Economic Chamber; Ötztaler Verkehrsgesellschaft mbH; NÖVOG; Schweizerische Bundesbahnen AG; SPAR Österreichische Warenhandels-AG; Stadtgemeinde Neumarkt am Wallersee; Verkehrsverbund Tirol; VIEHBÖCK BREITER SCHENK & NAU RECHTSANWÄLTE OG; Rechtsanwalt Pajor; IT-Experience Informationstechnologie GmbH; Medlog GesmbH; Microsynth Austria GmbH; CENTRE FOR MOBILITY CHANGE; MobiLab Oberösterreich; Deutsches Zentrum für Raum und Luftfahrt e.V.; Aston University Birmingham; Zukunftsstiftung Tirol

Project description: Due to increasing online trade and the ever closer networking of the business world, the transport needs for small goods are increasing in both the private and business sectors. Prompt transports, often over longer distances, play an important role here. Examples of this in the B2B sector are urgent deliveries of spare parts, contract originals, samples of goods, or in the C2C sector, forgotten identity documents or medicines and other urgent shipments. As there are currently no standardised high-frequency CEP services, urgent consignments are carried out with single journeys on the road, which are expensive and pollute the environment. In the past, there were rail express courier services that could be used for rapid shipping over long distances. As a result of strategic decisions made around the turn of the millennium, which are disadvantageous from today’s point of view, necessary infrastructures for shipping in railway stations were abandoned and dismantled or no longer taken into account in new buildings. Similarly, with a few exceptions there are no lockable areas for luggage or parcel shipping on the trains currently in service compared to the past.

The aim of the CargoPV+ project is to develop an innovative system for express shipments that is compatible with current and future requirements and framework conditions, using dense passenger rail transport. Existing regular transport operations as well as high speeds over longer distances are to be used synergistically and climate-neutrally for the transport of (time-sensitive) shipments. Based on existing knowledge and knowledge to be further deepened on the needs and requirements of potential customers and on technical and operational framework conditions, an overall system consisting of an operator model, the transfer points, the first and last mile, the secured transport area in the train and all relevant (IT) interfaces will be designed and tested in the project. The focus is necessarily on solutions that enable secure and reliable transport and comply with all the requirements of railway operations (punctuality, safety, etc.).

Method: At the beginning of the project, the concrete requirements of potential business and private customers are collected and processed by means of workshops and surveys. Based on these requirements and the consortium’s internal knowledge of the technical, operational and legal framework conditions, an overall system is designed. Technical components for transport (multifunctional, quick and easy-to-use transport space in the train, required interfaces and IT solutions) are implemented in the form of a simple mock-up. The mock-up is created in two phases, first in a highly simplified version made of wood, which can be intensively tested outside of trains for various processes and continuously adapted. The final version, which appears ideal, is created in the form of a visually realistic but still simple (wooden) mock-up and installed in an ÖBB Railjet train. This mock-up is used for intensive functionality testing under conditions that are as close to reality as possible. In addition to the technical components, a concrete operator model is being developed within the consortium, which also includes a comprehensive profitability analysis.

The result and the added value of the project are the knowledge of how an appropriate overall system for small goods express shipping must be structured using high-level rail passenger transport. Building on this knowledge, a subsequent efficient development and then rapid implementation of the project should be made possible.

Contact: DI Dr. Bernhard Rüger