Tuesday 29 January 2019

A symbol for more climate protection: Noah’s Train comes to Berlin

The Rail Freight Forward initiative led by Europe’s freight operating companies demonstrates its commitment to boosting climate protection

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Noah’s Train, the world’s longest mobile work of art, which is currently travelling through Europe, made a stop in Berlin on 24 January. Europe’s freight operating companies are using this special train, which is named after Noah’s Ark, to promote moving more traffic to the railways in the interests of the environment. At each station, prominent street artists spray-paint two containers with animal motifs.

The Rail Freight Forward initiative launched by Europe’s freight operating companies aims to increase the railways’ share of freight transport in Europe from 18% to 30% by 2030. Among the guests welcoming the train at Berlin’s Gesundbrunnen station on the 24th was the Federal Minister for the Environment Svenja Schulze, who supports the initiative.

Alexander Doll, Member of the Management Board for Finance, Freight Transport and Logistics at DB said, “Train users protect the environment, in both passenger and freight transport. Through DB Cargo’s operations alone we currently save some five million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. This is more or less the amount of CO2 that the cities of Aachen and Kassel produce together in a year.”

“We are working with our European partners to change the transport mix of the future,” said Dr Roland Bosch, CEO of DB Cargo. “If the 30% more freight forecast for Europe by 2030 was transported only by road, this would mean a million extra lorries, more traffic jams and more harmful carbon emissions. The decarbonisation of transport can only succeed if we put more freight on the rails.”

Joachim Berends, vice-president at the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) said, “On long routes, electric rail freight transport is the only economically and ecologically viable alternative to lorries. So rail’s market share has to grow much more strongly, especially in freight, if we are to get anywhere near meeting the commitments made in the Paris Agreement. This is why the VDV supports the Rail Freight Forward campaign with its ambitious goal of achieving a 30% modal share for rail freight transport.”

Noah’s Train departed from the Polish city of Katowice in mid-December following the UN Climate Change Conference and continued via Vienna to Berlin. The next stops the train will make will be Paris on 5 February 2019 and Brussels on 20 February 2019. In Berlin, too, prominent local street artists will spray-paint two container wagons, transforming them into moving symbols for climate protection.

Further information on Rail Freight Forward is available at www.railfreightforward.eu

Rail Freight Forward
Rail Freight Forward (RFF) is a coalition of European rail freight companies which are committed to drastically reducing the negative impact of freight transport on the planet and mobility through innovation and a more intelligent transport mix.

The coalition has the ambition to increase the modal share of rail freight to 30% by 2030 as the macro-economically better solution for European growth. It strives to engage railway undertakings, infrastructure managers and policymakers across Europe in acting to realise this modal shift.

As a broad and ever growing coalition of freight operating companies, RFF is supported by the CER, UIC, ERFA, VDV, Allianz pro Schiene and Deutscher Naturschutzring associations. Current members are BLS Cargo, CD Cargo, CFL Cargo, DB Cargo, Green Cargo, Lineas, LTE Group, Mercitalia, Ost-West Logistik, PKP Cargo, Rail Cargo Group, SBB Cargo, SNCF Logistics and ZSSK Cargo.

(Source: DB)

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Making of “Noah's train” © DB AG/Oliver Lang