The EU's special train, the Connecting Europe Express, started its tour of Germany last Sunday. In its role as the official ambassador of the 2021 European Year of Rail, it will call at ten German cities as part of its mission to generate awareness of Europe's rail services and the role of the rail network as the backbone of European mobility. As it criss-crosses the continent, the CEE will visit some 100 towns and cities in 26 different countries. It is due to end its international adventure in Paris on 7 October.
Today, the train called at Halle an der Saale, where it formed the ideal backdrop for putting rail freight transport and the latest wagon technology centre stage. Dr Sigrid Nikutta, CEO of DB Cargo, was at the new train formation facility in Halle to give a presentation with representatives from the European Commission about a practical new connection of another sort: the digital automatic coupling, or DAC. This innovation can connect freight wagons automatically, and it will play a key role in the automation and digitalisation of rail freight services across Europe.
The DB Cargo "climate compartment"
DB Cargo also has a "climate compartment" on board the CEE, with the purpose of informing people about the company's commitment to sustainability. For example, reducing CO2 emissions plays a crucial role in our strategic plans, and we have developed the DBeco plus product as a way of pressing ahead with this goal. Now, DB Cargo can offer customers CO2-free transport on all routes in Germany and Austria. This entails using the independent EcoTransIt World tool to calculate the precise energy needs of a given transport connection. We then buy the relevant quantity of renewable power, most of which is produced by power companies within the domestic market. Thanks to this system, the renewable energy we purchase replaces what would otherwise have been conventional energy in the traditional traction power mix. This directly protects the climate. What is more, 10% of the revenue from DBeco plus is invested in technology for producing or storing renewable power. Combined transport services consisting of rail and road are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a total of 50 million tonnes by 2030.