10 facts that show rail transport is on the right climate track

24. 03. 2022

With every tonne that is transported by rail, we reduce the burden on the environment. And not only in Austria, but far beyond.

Rail freight transport fulfils a key function in achieving the European climate and environmental goals. After all, we will only achieve better air quality, less traffic noise and congestion despite increasing traffic volumes if transport is significantly more climate-friendly and healthier in the future.

Here are 10 reasons that speak for rail:

1. 30 times less CO2 than on the road - While transport-related greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, we are continuously improving our carbon footprint. In the process, rail freight transport saves more than one million tonnes of CO2 annually throughout Austria.

2. 100% green traction current in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic - We operate in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic in own traction with 100% green traction current. This means that the electricity is generated entirely from renewable energy sources.

Our stations, offices, workshops and container cranes are also supplied with green electricity throughout Austria. Through the rail freight services handled by and within Austria with our partners, we save about 1.9 million tonnes of CO2 per year in Europe.

3. 6 times lower energy consumption with high performance - With our international transports we transport high loads by rail - with a significantly lower energy consumption than by road.

4. 3 times lower noise emissions - Rail freight transport causes only 1/3 of the noise in freight transport. We equip all freight wagons in operation with new, quiet brake pads and thus reduce international noise emissions by another half.

5. 6 times lower external costs - Proven rail safety systems significantly reduce external costs to protect against noise, climate change, pollution and accidents. These even drop to a factor of nine when pre- and post-carriage by rail are included.

6. 8 times less air pollution - Rail freight transport records 85 times fewer fatalities annually than road transport, caused by air pollution but also accidents. This also means that traffic safety is significantly increased by freight transport by rail.

7. only one loco driver is needed for the equivalent of up to 50 trucks - with only one person, large quantities can be transported and thus contribute to a sustainable and efficient supply of goods.

8. no congestion at borders - our scheduled and regular rail services allow goods to be transported on time and avoid CO2 emissions from gridlocked traffic such as at border crossings.

9. sustainable innovations in rail freight - Our sustainable investments in rail freight - such as the Digital Automatic Coupling ( DAC) - pave the way for further increasing energy efficiency in freight transport.

10. Our contribution to climate neutrality across Europe - In order to shift the increasing volume of traffic to rail, we are working intensively as part of the Rail Freight Forward initiative to increase the share of rail freight transport in the modal split across Europe to 30% by 2030 and thus achieve the European climate targets.