Integrating Underground Freight Transportation into Existing Intermodal Systems

This research project will investigate the feasibility to address the potential for employing a variety of technological advances in underground freight technology which allows for the optimized use of the available highway capacity through managing freight use. One of the concepts calls for the construction of freight tubes (also called pneumatic capsule pipeline), a technology that can be used to transport most cargoes, normally transported by trucks, including construction materials (i.e., sand, gravel, and cement), goods on pallets and in crates, boxes, etc., and even full-size (i.e., 40-h: length) shipping containers. Tube freight transportation is a class of unmanned transportation systems in which close-fitting capsules or trains of capsules carry freight through tubes between terminals. Enabling State of Texas through public private partnerships (P3) to utilize a part of its underground space of the existing right-of-way of highways, especially of interstate highways, will greatly facilitate the construction of such tubes and reduce their construction costs.' However, many questions must be answered through a rigorous study before freight tubes can be used along highways, and before they can become an integral part of the nation's future freight transportation system. This project also examines the use of underground freight tubes in congested urban environment, such as where application of 3 Freight Shuttle System (FSS), as presented by Roop and others, may not be practical and doable.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $247049.00
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Project Managers:

    Glancy, Chris

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Texas, Arlington

    P.O. Box 4089
    Arlington, TX  United States  76010
  • Principal Investigators:

    Najafi, Mohammad

  • Start Date: 20150410
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20160531
  • Source Data: RiP Project 39898

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01568863
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Texas Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 0-6870
  • Files: RiP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Jun 30 2015 1:01AM