“A modal shift for a more sustainable future”

Rail Freight Forward aims to boost the share of rail in overall freight transport from 18% to 30% by 2030

“A modal shift for a more sustainable future”

At the Katowice climate conference, Rail Freight Forward, a coalition of rail freight companies and federations from across Europe, committed to help save up to 290 million tons of C02 transport emissions over the next decade.

With 275 million tons of C02 emissions a year, freight transport represents almost a third of total transport emissions, passenger transport included. At an estimated growth rate of 30% by 2030, the climate impact of freight transport is expected to increase substantially over the coming years.

To avoid this increase, Rail Freight Forward aims to boost the share of rail in overall freight transport from 18% to 30% by 2030. With rail freight emitting 9 times less CO2 than road freight, this modal shift from road to rail is a crucial step to help the transport industry reach its climate targets as defined in the Paris Accord.

The signatories of Rail Freight Forward are convinced that rail has a crucial role to play in building a more sustainable freight sector, that will help Europe realize its climate ambitions. An increase of the modal share of rail freight from currently 18% to 30% by 2030 can largely absorb the expected growth in freight transport and minimize its climate impact. 

The 30% target is ambitious, but the European rail freight sector is determined to deliver the sustained efforts needed to achieve it. The members of Rail Freight Forward are committed to work together to transform and modernize the rail freight industry, by driving efficiency and standardization, improving cost-effectiveness and accelerating technological innovation.  

Each company will step up its efforts to offer competitive products that convince customers to choose rail for its quality, frequency, reliability, flexibility, price and service. At the same time, Rail Freight Forward calls upon policymakers and key stakeholders to work together in implementing the external conditions needed for a successful modal shift.  

To mark their climate commitment and win hearts and minds in support of the modal shift, the members of the Rail Freight Forward coalition have chosen Katowice to officially launch Noah’s Train. This train will travel through Vienna (14/1), Berlin (24/1), Paris (5/2) and Brussels (20/2). In each city, prominent local street artists will gradually transform the train into the world’s longest mobile artwork, inspired by the oldest tale of environmental activism.

Rail Freight Forward is a broad and continuously expanding coalition composed of rail freight operators and supported by the sector associations CER, UIC, ERFA and VDV. Current members of the Rail Freight Forward coalition are BLS Cargo, CD Cargo, CFL Cargo, DB Cargo, GreenCargo, Lineas, LTE Group, Mercitalia, Ost-West Logistik, PKP Cargo, Rail Cargo Group, SBB Cargo, SNCF Logistics, ZSSK Cargo.