ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Stephen P Mattingly


Given the increases in freight transportation demand, the current infrastructure for freight transportation appears insufficient. Moreover, the future development of capacity for freight transportation infrastructure seems to be limited. Based on a U.S. DOT report, most of the U.S. freight transportation infrastructure’s construction dates back to the 1960s. This puts a heavy burden on the national highway and railroad systems. The growing demand for freight will increase truck traffic on both urban and rural highways. The increase in truck traffic on highways will result in multiple challenges, including traffic congestion, security concerns, infrastructure deterioration, environmental pollution, energy consumption, increase in crash and fatality rates and loss of productivity. An Underground Freight Transportation (UFT) system can play a significant role in meeting some of the future capacity shortcomings in the above-ground freight transportation. UFT offers multiple benefits: decreasing truck traffic on highways, reducing rail traffic, reducing energy consumption, reducing noise and air pollution, promoting safety and security, and enhancing the reliability of freight delivery. A UFT system is an autonomous transportation system that carries freight in individual capsules or flat-bed gondolas within tunnels or pipelines. This research starts with the planning of a UFT system for multiple locations in Texas and then identifies UFT design components. Moreover, this research formulates UFT operational parameters and develops relations among those parameters. Additionally, different propulsion systems have been studied for UFT systems and the required power and energy consumption of the propulsion system is calculated.


Underground freight transportation, Intermodal freight transportation, Propulsion system, Energy calculation, Autonomous vehicles, Freight pipeline, Capsule tube


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Civil Engineering | Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington