Elisabeth Fiala
is social media communicator in the Rail Cargo Group
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NOAH’s TRAIN: The longest mobile artwork to protect the climate

“We can’t save the whole world, but we can set a sign to protect our climate.”

Noah’s Train is the longest mobile artwork and is inspired by the oldest history of environmental protection, Noah’s Ark. A train to draw attention to the Rail Freight Forward coalition’s goal of shifting 30% of freight to rail by 2030, because rail freight transport produces at least 6 times less CO2 than road freight transport. More about the advantages of rail freight transport…

It departed on 14.12.2018 in Katowice, Poland. Via Vienna, Berlin and Paris it finally travels to Brussels. The containers are green in their initial state and are continuously transformed into artworks. Two containers each are contributed by the Railway Undertakings PKP Cargo, DB Cargo, Lineas, SNCF and us, the RCG and are designed by local Street-Art artists on its way. So it finally transforms into the longest mobile artwork to protect the climate.

But what is the background?

The background to all of this is the enormously growing transport industry in Europe. The freight volume is expected to increase to 30% by 2030. Today, however, 75% of all freight is transported on the roads, and that figure is rising steadily. This means that if no action is taken, the current emissions of the freight industry – around 275 million tonnes of CO2 – will increase by 80 million tonnes per year.

Smog over the city. (c) Pixabay

A modal shift from road to rail is a fundamental step towards improving the climate friendliness of freight transport.

By 2030, the transport industry must reduce its current CO2 footprint by 25%, and a third of this effort must be in freight transport. Rail freight transport is nine times more efficient than transport on the road in terms of CO2 emissions.

Rail Freight Forward – European Rail Freight Vision 2030

To draw the attention to all this the Rail Freight Forward coalition was formed. Rail Freight Forward is a coalition of rail freight companies that have set themselves the goal to drastically reduce the negative effects of mobility and freight traffic on our planet.

Our major common goal is to achieve a share of rail freight of 30% by 2030 (at the moment the share amounts to 18%). In other words, a doubling of the quantities transported by rail.

To achieve this shift, rail freight operators will develop innovative products that are competitive with road transport in terms of frequency, reliability, flexibility, price and service. With the possibility of intermodal transport concepts, i.e. an intelligent combination of road transport to and from the rail, especially for long distances, fast and environmentally friendly transport – with 6x less CO2 emissions – becomes possible.

The effect is significant:

6x lower energy consumption   –   9x better in terms of CO2 emissions   –   8x besser for the air

With the “Rail Freight Forward” initiative, Europe’s leading freight railways are demonstrating how sustainable freight transport can be.

Jump on the Train!

On 14 December 2018, Noah’s Train departed from the World Climate Conference in Katowice, Poland.

(c) RFF

Its first stop is on 14 January 2019 in Vienna.

What will it look like then? See yourself and stay tuned via Rail Freight Forward on Instagram.

Here we go…our preparations for the Noah’s Train are in progress.

07.12.2018: Our green containers have reached Gliwice/Zabrze (Poland) and have been handed over to PKP Cargo now.

The containers of the RCG and Lineas on their way to Katowice (c) RCG/Lineas

13.12.2018: The first containers are already being sprayed by the artists


Today the event in Katowice takes place. Everything has started and we are very excited to see Noah’s Train departing!

The CEOs getting interviewed:

By signing the manifesto, Rail Freight Forward is official.


The train departed and made its way to Vienna!


18.12.2018: Noah’s Train has arrived in Vienna!!!

We are proud and happy to have received Noah’s Train in Vienna. In order to protect it from exuberant and special fans, we won’t tell you where it will be until the event in Vienna on January 14. 🤫

09.01.2019: The street art artists are already working

10.01.2019: The first pics of the sprayings in Vienna are here!!


Making of in Vienna

Photos of the Event:

20.01.2019: The first photos of the sprayings are online on Instagram !

(c) DB Cargo


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First sneak peek on the new artworks in #Berlin. We are so excited! The artworks will be part of Noah‘s train – the members of the Rail Freight Forward coalition together with @concrete.at designed two containers each (12 in total), in order to transform the train to the longest mobile #artwork to spread the coalition's goal of a 30% modal share of rail until 2030, since transport on #rail produces at least 5 times less CO2 #emissions than #transport on the road and is therefore a lot more #sustainable. The artworks will be presented in Berlin on the 24th of January. #noahstrain #railfreightforward #einzelwagen #modalshift #30by2030 #sustainable #singlewagon #trainspotting #art #graffiti #graffittiart

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Spot the train!

Support us and cheer on the train on its way. Use #NoahsTrain and tag @railfreightforward on Instagram and follow the train on its journey!