They're back. Hardly a new idea, the Cargo Tram was once a mainstay of the railroads and interurbans. Three European cities are up and running with three different types of cargo service and it will be interesting to see if this is possible in the United States. I think though we needed better networks than we have now.
Zurich - Kind of a Good Will Trailer on rails. People drop off disposable items and electronics and it's taken to the recycling center to be disposed of properly. English Translations can be done here.
Amsterdam - City Cargo will use trams and electric vehicles to distribute goods in the city. This is a really promising idea for the United States if we ever rebuild some of our interurban lines. No more big delivery trucks with diesel emissions...
Dresden - Volkswagen built a spur off of the city tram line to transport car parts across the city. The tram line takes 3 trucks off the road per trip. Fascinating Stuff.
A Discussion at Portland Transport about Cargo Trams...and a Swiss Blog is following the trend.