Accompanied Combined Transport is a convenient and rapid form of CT which consists of transporting whole trucks, road trains or articulated vehicles on special wagons. In this type of transport, the drivers of the road vehicles carry out the loading (called “horizontal loading”) themselves and accompany the railway shipment in a couchette carriage in order to effect delivery by road at the final destination.
In accompanied combined transport, only a part of the total journey of the road vehicle is carried out by rail. Before and after being loaded onto the wagon, the vehicle is driven on the road. In general, rail transport allows avoidance of a geographical obstacle or of a route section involving weight or access restrictions. The distance covered by rail depends on the length of the “obstacles” on the road and on the required statutory night rests. In this manner the driver can rest during a section of the route or during the crossing of the Alps, for instance, and on arrival he can continue his trip completely refreshed.
The main advantage of the rolling road is that any type of road vehicle can be transported by rail without any prior conditions.
The main drawback of the rolling road is the importance of the deadweight because, besides the load, the whole truck must be carried by rail. In certain countries of the European Union, particularly in southern Europe and Great Britain, the railway gauge is not sufficient to transport the 4m-high trucks on rolling road wagons.