The project, dubbed regioKArgo, envisages the use of modified LRVs on the city’s extensive light rail network to transport freight, primarily consumer goods, between hubs in the city centre, from where it can be delivered to customers via electric bikes or other eco-friendly means.

The intention is that the vehicles can be easily adapted to transport either passenger or freight according to demand, removing the need for dedicated freight LRVs.

Software to support the planning and optimisation of capacity use on the vehicles is a key part of the project. The interface between the freight consolidation hubs where trams would be loaded and last mile delivery from the hubs is fundamental to making the concept a viable and economic proposition.

Support for the project is being provided by the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, the FZI Research Centre for Information Technology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), DB Engineering & Consulting and Marlo Consultants.

A dedicated freight LRV service has been in operation in Dresden to supply parts to a car factory in the city centre since 2001.