We’re all familiar with the pictures: trucks closely lined up with more trucks. A queue as far as the eye can see. All of them struggling to traverse the border crossing between Austria and Italy, the Brenner Pass; over 2.4 million of them in 2018 alone. The trend is on the rise, and not only at the Brenner Pass. Current estimates say that European land freight transport will undergo a 30% increase by 2030. Street capacities are at their limit, as we can see each day on our motorways.
This gives us a choice: should we accept around 1 million more trucks on European roads, or opt instead for rapid, efficient transfer of freight traffic to rail?
The arguments behind this are heavily in favour of rail. A truck produces 86.7 g of CO2. per tonne transported each kilometre. The railway is considerably more environmentally-friendly - many times over. Rail freight transport in Austria results in an average of 21 times less CO2 emissions than a truck. Each tonne of goods transported by rail rather than road has an immediate impact and saves CO2.
This makes it high time to move trucks onto the more environmentally friendly railways. The Rail Cargo Group’s Rolling Highway (ROLA) makes this possible. Thanks to ROLA, trucks and articulated lorries cover parts of their route by rail. The ROLA smartly combines road and rail transport into a single transportation system. With more than 170,000 trucks transported each year, the RCG is not only the lead provider of rolling highways in Europe, but it also helps ensure that the environment can breathe again. You can find out what that means in our next entry.