Letter to the editor by Paul Bunzel on the article 'Gebummel im Tunnel' in Bild der Wissenschaft 09/2022. (Reprinted in issue 12/2022)

It is not enough just to keep emphasizing that freight transport belongs on the railways. Incentives must also be created for this. If existing offers are not being used, the question posed in the report as to the reason must be answered conclusively.

The combined transport currently offered for freight, whether unaccompanied [trailer, container or swap body only] or accompanied [truck plus driver], is inflexible and too slow. Moreover, it does not correspond to the real delivery routes of the carriers, so that trucks still have to be organized and used for the first and last mile. Add to this the 'booking situation' rightly cited by Prof. Dr. Bruckmann, and it is no wonder that [time-critical] goods are not transported by rail.

As called for in the report, the advantages of rail and road must be combined. In my opinion, it is not enough to distinguish between long-distance and local transport. What is needed is a timed transport service in at least a Germany-wide network, in which the freight forwarder can book onto suitable wagons at defined loading stations for 'boarding', 'changing' and 'alighting'. In this way, the forwarder alone defines what long-distance or local transport means for him in the transport case in question.

The immense delays mentioned and the protests against potential noise have one and the same technical cause in my eyes. It is simply incomprehensible that the rolling stock used is outdated and not designed for fast transport, but only suitable for 'wintering on the siding'. Has anyone ever compared the investments required here with the lost profits from lost transport orders? Newer bogies and braking technologies already prove that too low a speed with too high a noise level need not be an obstacle to the use of freight rail.

Article in "Deine Bahn", "Truck Shuttle, solution for additional freight traffic shifting to rail"

Article in Der Eisenbahningenieur "An effective concept for the Relief of Traffic and Environment"

The slide sets for the theme evening on 14 Sep. 2022 in Saarbrücken are available for download here