Cargo trams were born in Dresden, and, ironically, they were conceived in order to supply components to volkswagen car factory. And little by little the idea is spreading all over the world. Wherever the narrow streets of a town are blocked by delivery trucks, cargo trams are seen as the solution. Zürich has adopted cargo trams for collecting waste, and will new projects are being implemented in Amsterdam, and La-Chaux-de-Fonds.
La-Chaux-de-Fonds case is particularly interesting: with a population of just 37.000, it could be considered too small to justify a tramway infrastructure. But if we consider that the city has a major waste management plant, and that wastes are sent to La-Chaux-de-Fonds by train, then put on trucks for the last 2 km, everything makes more sense. The tramway infrastructure costs will be paid by the suppression of the truck service, and the city will have a tramway infrastructure almost for free.
(source: DVB, les urbanités, proaktiva.ch)