The Use of Pipelines and Tunnels for the Solution of Future Transport Problems
Proceedings Publication Date
Prof. Dr. Dietrich Stein
Prof. Dr. Dietrich Stein
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Even in the age of telecommunications, the efficiency and development potential of an industrial location is largely governed by the capacity of traditional means of Transport   road, rail, air and water.
In the Federal Republic of Germany, roads as a means of Transport have reached their limits so that traffic bottle-necks and delays lead to un-duly high costs and friction. Today, tailbacks and delays cost the German economy around € 100 billion per annum [source: ADAC].
Urban conurbations, which already have been densely built-up, and possess a high share of traffic areas, are particularly affected by this increasing negative development. Their traditionally grown traffic infrastructure can only be adapted to in-creasing demands on traffic performances either to a limited extent or not at all on account of competition in utilising available space, financial constrictions on the part of the state or a lack of acceptance by the general public.
This conflict situation between required mobility and local restrictions will continue to be exacerbated as the number of vehicles is growing considerably faster than the road network. Developments by industrial enterprises on the just-in-time and just-in-case sector, which call for reliable and effective production logistics backed by widely-branched, flexible and efficient transport systems, which are capable of safely transporting the necessary amounts of goods from one place to another in a certain time, especially contribute towards this.
The outcome of such developments is reflected in chaos that affects traffic on a daily basis to varying degrees. This leads to a fall in performance on the part of the affected region with a corresponding effect on the attractiveness of the location for both the population and companies.
Given the impasse presented by this situation, the interdisciplinary research association „Transport and Supply Systems under the Earth“ was set up at the Ruhr University Bochum in 1998 with the backing of the Ministry of Education, Science and Research of North Rhine Westphalia. Its task is to come up with a novel, efficient, environmentally compatible alternative transport system with a lasting effect that can be realized in the short term.
The outcome is the innovative CargoCap concept by means of which goods can be carried speedily, reliably and punctually through underground running tubes.

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