Cargo Sous Terrain (abbreviated to CST; French language, literally: "Underground Cargo") is a planned underground logistics system in Switzerland. As of January 2016, the company respectively association (Förderverein Cargo sous terrain) is based at the seat of the Swiss retailer Coop in Basel.
The providers claim to establish a complete, automated, flexible and durable underground cargo system which allows the transport of pallets and crates for packages, individual items, break bulk cargo and bulk goods, as well as their intermediate storage. Tunnels are scheduled to connect the sites of production and logistics sites. In the municipalities, under ground cargo is scheduled to distribute the goods by environmentally friendly vehicles in cooperation with partners of the Swiss retail syndicate IG DHS (Interessengemeinschaft Detailhandel Schweiz), among them Coop, Denner, Manor and Migros, and also the Swiss national logistics providers SBB Cargo, Rhenus Logistics, Swisscom and Swiss Post. The privately owned company claims also to contribute to waste disposal.
According to the press release on 26 January 2016, the innovation in the field of cargo transport is in the unique combination of proven technologies; the system shall transport pallets and containers of any kind ... and provide the collection of waste and recyclable materials. In the cities, thanks to the present city-logistic system, Cargo Sous Terrain may provide solutions to the most urgent traffic problems. The providers claim to plan to use renewable energy for its operation. The technical and commercial feasibility of the planned Swiss national transport system shall have been confirmed by a feasibility study which was completed in 2015.
The new type of underground freight infrastructure shall be used complementary to the Swiss road and rail network, and relieve at critical points. The first scheduled section of about 66.7 kilometres (41.4 mi) in the central Swiss Plateau (Mittelland) shall connect Härkingen/Niederbipp and the city of Zürich from the early 2030s. Later, a comprehensive network is planned between the Bodensee in eastern Switzerland and the Lac Léman in western Switzerland, with offshoots to Basel and Luzern.
The tunnels shall be built at a depth of up to 50 metres (164 ft) having a diameter of 6 metres (20 ft). In these tubes, three lanes shall be placed, one each lane per direction, and a service lane in the middle of the tubes, operating fully automated and unmanned vehicles which shall be able to transport two EUR-pallets and containers. By ramps or lifts, these small vehicles shall automatically load and release their charges. The vehicles are driven and guided by electromagnetic induction. This shall allow a constant flow of traffic which can be carried out, thanks to the installation under the earth, during a 24-hour/365-days operation. The initiators believe that the vehicles will operates in the tunnel at a speed of 30 kilometres per hour (18.6 mph). An additional monorail system for packages, which is suspended in the crown of the tunnel, may run at twice the speed.
On 20 April 2016 the government of the Canton of Zürich announced to have reservations, because it's still unclear whether CST will relieve the most important cantonal municipalities. In principle, the government welcomes a swap of goods by a separate means of transportation. According to the current level of knowledge it is questionable whether CST will be profitable even for the most populated centers, as the projected cargo tunnel will relieve especially the main axes. For the dispersion, however, the use of delivery trucks or trains, roads and rail transport links around the hubs even would be more overloaded than today. Therefore, according to the government, this aspect has to be clarified by the providers.
The total cost for the first phase are estimated at 3,550 million Swiss Francs (CHF) of which 71 percent are scheduled for the construction of the tunnel. For matters of expense include CHF 282 million for the planning, CHF 344 million on the construction of ten hubs for loading and unloading. CHF 410 million francs are intended for the procurement of the vehicles.