Intercontinental rail freight transport

12. 11. 2019

Guest author: Niki Schmölz, author, student und railway-blogger in the RCG-Talk.

Many environmentally conscious companies already opt for rail as a mode of transport when transporting their goods. These include, for example, producers of beverages or care and cosmetic products.

Niki Schmölz is author, student and partner of the tetraversity media GmbH. The young railway specialist has developed his blog into one of the leading media platforms for the future of rail in Austria and Europe. Through his ideas, analyses and comments as well as many exciting interviews, a broad dialogue about the future of rail as a mode of transport has been created. Niki's latest articles can be found at

Intercontinental environment-friendly transport

by Niki Schmölz


Many millions of euros are being invested in sidings and, in some cases, the company's own rolling stock. As a result, the economy saves several thousand truck trips annually and thousands of tons of CO2 at the same time.

Railways have always been a strong partner for the economy and are becoming more and more attractive for companies and corporations, as well as a necessary development for traffic turn and climate protection! For example, large corporations such as Magna or voestalpine, but also the construction industry relies on rail.

Rail transport between Europe and Asia is also playing an increasingly important role in intercontinental transport. China has developed into a global exporter in recent decades. Above all, a wide variety of goods are transported to Europe.

It is a great development that in the course of the new Silk Road and further economic growth, railways are taking over large capacities and thus the transcontinental traffic, i.e. the global flow of goods is being made more ecological.

Great potential that you have to use!

To me personally, rail plays a fundamental role in the transport system of the future. On the one hand, it is important that, in view of climate change, we reduce CO2 emissions in the transport sector in order to be able to leave behind an environment worth living in for future generations.

On the other hand, it is also a question of greater efficiency, because economic and transport growth is leading to more and more inefficient use of infrastructure, namely congestion and hence more emissions. But the economy and society should not and will not stand still! That is why we must make our roads more ecological and relieve them massively. The railways are also becoming increasingly interesting from an entrepreneurial point of view. Because transport is always about reliability, cost efficiency and safety for goods. Nevertheless, there are still some framework conditions for rail freight traffic and the railways in general to overcome.

For example, the conditions of competition with road transport, where rail is clearly at a disadvantage, despite greater safety and more environmentally friendly transport.

Taxation of emission-free traction current, area-wide tolls and many organisational hurdles stand in contrast to a diesel privilege, tax exemption for kerosene and no area-wide truck tolls.

Capacities and shorter journey times are also important pillars in competition with other modes of transport. Shorter journey times, higher speeds, more trains, no tonnage restrictions and no additional push locomotives reduce costs, shorten transport times and saving energy. The new southern route with Koralm and Semmering tunnels creates precisely these benefits for freight traffic in and through Austria.

Investments in rail infrastructure are investments in climate protection.

Let us now work together for a strong rail system and a sustainable rail future.