Following its official launch in Katowice last December, UIC is following the journey of Noah’s Train in Europe and supports, together with other sector associations CER, ERFA and VDV, Rail Freight Forward initiative. Rail Freight Forward is a coalition of European rail freight companies that 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 aims 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 achieve this modal shift.
On 14 January, Noah’s Train stopped in Vienna. A special ceremony was opened by Clemens Först, RCG Board Member, who welcomed the participants. Among them were: rail stakeholders, politics and the media. He also presented the Rail Freight Forward initiative and the Noah’s train, which can be seen as an ambassador for the world and a synonym for green, sustainable rail transport. Andreas Matthä, CEO of Austrian Federal Railways ÖBB, presented ÖBB as the most climate-friendly company in Austria.
The ceremony also gave the floor to Josef Plank, Secretary General Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism, Norbert Hofer Federal Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology, Alexander van der Bellen, Austrian Federal President, Libor Lochman, CER Executive Director, Andreas Mandl, CEO LTE, Martin Vozar, CEO ZSSK Cargo.
UIC Deputy Director General François Davenne participated in this ceremony and said:
“If the current modal mix is maintained (75% on the road), the expected growth in the transport sector would cause an additional 960 million tons of CO2 emissions by 2030. This is enormous, but if road freight transport becomes even more prominent, CO2 emissions will increase even more. It is then vital to drastically improve the capacity of the rail freight sector to offer innovative solutions that will better suit society’s needs. In addition to climate protection, there are other precious advantages of modal shift, namely its contribution to public health and road safety. Rail transport is much more environmentally-friendly than road transport and causes 85 times fewer deaths.”
He then went on to say:
“UIC shares and promotes this inspiring vision to transform rail into the sustainable backbone for the logistic industry. There, I would like to make clear that the need to shift from road to rail to preserve the climate is also a key issue outside Europe. The new silk roads are the milestones for a paradigm shift. The European backbone must be interconnected with the developing Eurasian corridors. Enjoying the status of special advisor to the UN High Level Group on Sustainable Mobility, UIC is proud to support its members today for the Rail Freight Forward initiative.”
Stay tuned for more Noah’s Train and great artworks next week in Berlin! Do not hesitate to follow Noah’s Train at www.railfreightforward.eu and on Instagram.