IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Burden or opportunity for modal shift? – Embracing the urban dimension of intermodal road-rail transport


  • Behrends, Sönke


Intermodal road-rail transport (IRRT) has a significant urban dimension, which affects the modal shift potential and the environmental benefits of rail freight. This paper explores the relevance of local policies for sustainable modal shift strategies by conceptualising the links between urban planning and rail freight. The presented framework identifies measures that local authorities can apply in order to increase the market and environmental improvement potential of IRRT. The results indicate that local urban transport planning has a significant role to play in the promotion of rail freight. Integrating rail freight into long-term urban development plans offers new possibilities for rail freight that are necessary in order to achieve a sustainable freight transport system in the face of ever-increasing road transport volumes.

Suggested Citation

  • Behrends, Sönke, 2017. "Burden or opportunity for modal shift? – Embracing the urban dimension of intermodal road-rail transport," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 10-16.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:59:y:2017:i:c:p:10-16
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2017.06.004

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:eee:jotrge:v:19:y:2011:i:4:p:680-688 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Santos, Georgina & Behrendt, Hannah & Teytelboym, Alexander, 2010. "Part II: Policy instruments for sustainable road transport," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 46-91.
    3. Konings, J. W., 1996. "Integrated centres for the transshipment, storage, collection and distribution of goods : A survey of the possibilities for a high-quality intermodal transport concept," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 3-11.
    4. Fredrik Bärthel & Johan Woxenius, 2004. "Developing intermodal transport for small flows over short distances," Transportation Planning and Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(5), pages 403-424, October.
    5. Wagner, Tina, 2010. "Regional traffic impacts of logistics-related land use," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 224-229, August.
    6. Johan Woxenius & Fredrik Bärthel, 2008. "Intermodal Road–Rail Transport in the European Union," Chapters,in: The Future of Intermodal Freight Transport, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Macharis, C. & Bontekoning, Y. M., 2004. "Opportunities for OR in intermodal freight transport research: A review," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 153(2), pages 400-416, March.
    8. Börjesson, Maria & Kristoffersson, Ida, 2015. "The Gothenburg congestion charge. Effects, design and politics," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 134-146.
    9. Eliasson, Jonas & Hultkrantz, Lars & Nerhagen, Lena & Rosqvist, Lena Smidfelt, 2009. "The Stockholm congestion - charging trial 2006: Overview of effects," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 240-250, March.
    10. Elisabeth Gouvernal & Julien Daydou, 2005. "Container Railfreight Services in North‐west Europe: Diversity of Organizational Forms in a Liberalizing Environment," Transport Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(5), pages 557-571, January.
    11. Dablanc, Laetitia, 2007. "Goods transport in large European cities: Difficult to organize, difficult to modernize," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 280-285, March.
    12. repec:eee:jotrge:v:19:y:2011:i:1:p:134-146 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Kreutzberger, Ekki D., 2008. "Distance and time in intermodal goods transport networks in Europe: A generic approach," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 973-993, August.
    14. Dablanc, Laetitia, 2009. "Regional policy issues for rail freight services," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 163-172, August.
    15. Russ Haywood, 2003. "Evaluation of the policies in British local transport plans with regard to the promotion of rail freight," Transport Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 387-412, July.
    16. Ricci, Andrea & Black, Ian, 2005. "The Social Costs of Intermodal Freight Transport," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 245-285, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:59:y:2017:i:c:p:10-16. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.