(Rotterdam, 10 October 2019) – What started in December 2018 at the COP24 with two containers in Katowice in Poland, turned into a strong European movement.
Rail Freight Forward (RFF), a coalition of European rail freight companies, is committed to drastically reducing the negative impact of freight transport on our planet and on mobility. The Noah’s Train campaign has been spreading its message across Europe for almost a year, and is about to be shipped to South America, where it will continue spreading the RFF message of increasing rail freight’s modal share to improve climate, air quality and mobility. Tomorrow, at the Port of Rotterdam, Rail Freight Forward’s climate ambassador Noah’s Train is setting sail for the global UN COP25 Climate Change Conference in Santiago, Chile.
Noah’s Train fits perfectly in the Port of Rotterdam’s aim to become a CO2-neutral port. The Port of Rotterdam is the start and end point of over 250 international rail connections. It has an extensive network of intermodal transport connections: rail, inland shipping, road and pipelines. This ensures sustainable access to European destinations in the hinterland within 24 hours.
Freight transport pumps 275 million tonnes of CO2 emissions into the air every single year. The 2016 Paris Agreement made it clear that increasing rail freight’s share in freight transport is our best chance to dramatically reduce this figure. To do this, the railways’ share in freight transport needs to increase from 18% to at least 30% by 2030.
The advantages of rail freight transportation are significant and sustainable. In figures, this means:
From the Port of Rotterdam, forwarders have a good opportunity to realise the modal shift from road to rail. RFF has come a long way over the course of the year and are on track to mobilise Europe and reach our 30 by 2030 goal. “Driving a train through Europe must become as easy as driving a truck. RFF is driving this message forward”, declares CEO of Lineas, Geert Pauwels. The first step of RFF was to invite railway undertakings, stakeholders and politicians to actively participate in the initiative, thus formulating a joint road map for the next years to boost rail freight transport and formulate a concrete action plan. For that reason, the awareness campaign Noah’s Train was started as the successful voice of the RFF initiative.
On 11 October, top-level guests from politics and various industries as well as media are going to participate at the exclusive anniversary event of Noah’s Train, including Vera Tax (Member of the European Parliament), Kees van den Burg (Director-General, NL Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management), the Port of Rotterdam’s CEO Allard Castelein, and the CEOs representing RFF’s member railway undertakings.
Audio-visual presentations with the RFF CEOs will show what the coalition has achieved this year with its climate ambassador Noah’s Train, and how the rail operators are moving their 30 by 2030 goal. One highlight will be the reveal of the Port of Rotterdam container that has been spray-painted by Dutch artist Nina Valkhoff and will be added as the last container of the train.
RFF’s next campaign will be multimodality and the Port of Rotterdam is a crucial partner for sustainable multimodality. Our zero-emissions freight trains arrive at the zero-emissions port terminals, where the goods are conveyed on their onward journeys by ship. This cooperation between rail and ship represents multimodality in action.
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 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.
Rail Freight Forward is a broad and continuously expanding coalition composed of rail freight operators and supported by the sector associations CER, UIC, ERFA and VDV.
Current members of the Rail Freight Forward coalition are BLS Cargo, CD Cargo, CFL Cargo, DB Cargo, GreenCargo, Lineas, LTE Group, Mercitalia, Ost-West Logistik, PKP Cargo, Rail Cargo Group, SBB Cargo, SNCF Logistics, ZSSK Cargo, Renfe Mercancías.
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