Germany: running on 100% green traction current

26. 01. 2021

Cars, cellulose, tracks, products for the chemical and mineral oil industries –environmentally friendly transported by us in Germany. Since January 1, 2021, we have been using only traction current from renewable energy sources for all connections in Germany that are tractioned by us.

Germany is the heartland of the automobile industry. Around 3.5 million cars were produced there in 2020. A large number of them are destined for other countries. Whether within Europe or overseas to Asia – we play a big part in transporting these vehicles.

Ganzzugverkehr mit Autos

We provide the automobile industry with raw materials, semi-finished and finished products. These are not the only high-performance products we transport by rail, however. We also transport paper products like cellulose, different types of steel products, products for the chemical and mineral oil industries to and from Germany by rail.

Germany as a transshipment hub

Our high-performance TransNET spans markets in Central, South and Southeast Europe in Russia, Turkey and beyond into China. Germany is one of our key transport hubs. Our TransFER services bring provisions to expansive industrial regions like the Rhine-Ruhr and also create direct links to the Northern and Western Ports of Bremerhaven and Hamburg – the transshipment hubs for the intercontinental flow of goods. Our services therefore create a direct connection to economic and urban hubs across all of Central Europe and beyond into Southeast Europe.

Gateway to China

The Port of Duisburg also plays a key role in international rail transport. Its advantageous geographical location makes it one of our most important destinations. Along with Hamburg, Duisburg represents one of the most important European ports for overseas transport, especially for transport to and from China. Duisburg is one of the largest ports in the world.

What was rolled out in Austria in 2018 now applies to Germany

All of the ÖBB Rail Cargo Group’s TransFER services in Germany have been running exclusively on green traction current since the start of 2021. This applies to all network TransFER services like the TransFER Linz–Duisburg–Wels and the TransFER Vienna–Scandinavia, as well as all other services in Germany where traction is provided by our subsidiary in Germany.

Where does this electricity come from?

The green electricity being used for rail operations in Germany is CO2 neutral. It is obtained from partner power stations and is drawn from the public power grid. Its hydrogen source has been certified by TÜV Nord.

In Austria, ÖBB Infrastruktur already runs eight of its own hydropower stations and one solar power station. Together, they generate more than one third of the required traction current. This electricity will be distributed via railway power cables and converted into the relevant overhead line voltage in substations. The overhead lines in Austria then bring the green traction current to the trains that run on the ÖBB’s rail network.

With our renewable energy sources in Germany, we are continuing to invest in clean sources for our traction current. Many more countries are set to follow suit over the next few years!