Pipelines are modern unmanned transportation system that has gained in importance all over the world over due to the relative ease of transportation as well as reduced costs.
•Pipelines are used extensively to transport liquids, gases and also solids by converting them into a slurry, such as water, petroleum and natural gas. Pipelines are also used to transport liquified coal.
•Pipelines are effective in connecting remote regions to supply networks and offers an uninterrupted flow of goods.
•The pipeline provides the least consumption of fuel per tonnage of goods carried and distance covered. Hence, it is less demanding on fossil fuels.
•Pipelines provide a safe and convenient mode for transporting flammable, volatile or explosive resources like natural gas and oil. Moreover, pipelines can prevent leakage of these resources which leads to pollution, and are not susceptible to the conditions of the weather.
•Construction period of the pipeline is short and the costs are low. Since pipelines are mostly underground, they do not affect existing infrastructure as much as other modes of transportation.
In short, pipelines are cheap to construct, less polluting, energy efficient, safe and sustainable mode of transportation.
Additional Information: With these many advantages, underground pipelines had only one major missing, the ability to transport humans. Innovator and entrepreneur, Elon Musk conceived the possibility of pipelines like sealed tubes for the passenger as well as freight transport. See Hyperloop.
Inland waterways have been important from ancient times. This mode of transport is highly effective in hauling huge cargo and are often the only available means of transport in dense forests and low-lying regions (often at the mouth of large rivers).
The three factors affecting the development of inland waterways are:
1. Navigability of the waterway, indicated by the width and depth of the channel
2. Continuity in the water flow,
3. Transport technology in use.
The Rhine Waterways
•Is an important economic waterway in Western Europe, flowing through Germany and the Netherlands.
•It is navigable for 700 km from Rotterdam, at its mouth in the Netherlands to Basel in Switzerland.
•It flows through a rich coalfield and the whole basin has become a prosperous manufacturing area.
•It is the world’s most heavily used waterway, with annual traffic of over 20,000 ocean-going ships and 2,00,000 inland vessels.
•It connects the industrial areas of Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands with the North Atlantic Sea Route.
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