How It Works

The key design principles of the concept

The MOLE Underground Freight Pipeline concept is to move unitised or bulk goods in customised capsules travelling in dedicated sub-surface pipelines under full automatic control.

  • Pipelines can be laid beside or under existing or new transport infrastructure to simplify construction, installation and integration with current supply chains and distribution centres.
  • Highly automated to allow for 24×7 unmanned operation.
  • Simple and mature technology provides high reliability, availability and maintainability.
  • Electrically powered for sustainability and low environmental impact.
  • ENCLOSED pipeline offers safe and secure transport,
  • Modular construction from factory-built units ensures quality and minimises installation time and cost.

The Technology

Mole Solutions has developed extensive computer based models of the freight pipeline system on which the commercial justification and the technical system design are based. Continuing development tests and trials are conducted to validate, enhance, optimise and extend these models.
From this baseline the technology and designs of the major system elements emerge.

Capsules Design

The key design principles of the concept

  • No onboard drive.
  • Propulsion by magnetic wave produced by linear induction motors. (LIMs)
  • Cruciform wheel set up giving precision track holding.
  • Low aerodynamic drag
  • Low wheel friction
  • Only nine moving parts giving high reliability and low maintenance.

Lims Spaced Around The Track

The LIMs, which are providing the propulsion force for the capsules, are spaced around the track.

Controlled Air Gap

  • The efficiency of the propulsion is related to the air gap between the capsule reaction plate and the LIM.
  • The capsule is designed to ensure that the reaction plate on the capsule stays level with the LIMs on the track.


The pipeline design is dependant on ground conditions

  • Pipeline material can be: composite / steel / concrete.
  • Installation by: cut-and-cover / jacking / boring.
  • Pipe diameter: MOLE BULK – 1.3m
  • Pipe diameter: MOLE URBAN – 2.4m
  • Pipe diameter: MOLE CONTAINER – 5.0m

Pipeline – internal features

  • Modular and simple ‘click and go’ track interconnection.
  • Factory-built for precision and quality.
  • Progressively fitted into pre-laid pipelines.
  • Software controlled switch for passing and direction control.
  • In-built, fail-safe capsule braking and propulsion modules.

Control Software Of The Freight Pipeline System

  • A unique software program controls the movement of the capsules (via the LIMs), the interval between them and the configuration of  the track.
  • The control software specifies the speed of the capsules and the route they take.

Loading & Unloading – MOLE URBAN

Key points

  • Two 1000x1200x1800 pallets per capsule.
  • Roll-on-roll-off loading and unloading.
  • Fully automatic.
  • Secure fixing for transit.
  • Protection against environment and pilfering.
  • Temperature control ability.

Loading & Unloading – MOLE BULK

MOLE BULK capsule load using simple loading hopper


MOLE BULK unload by rotating capsule in section of pipe