A weekend dedicated to rail transport

DB243998 (1)

A weekend dedicated to rail transport

For the second time, Rail Day explored rail freight transport with a series of exciting events.

Update: Rail Day 2023 was a resounding success

Rail Day, held for the second time, was once again a success this year, and not only because of the beautiful weather. The kick-off event at the Port of Stuttgart was equally successful. After a tour of the exhibition grounds, the many visitors had the opportunity to attend different talks and a panel discussion. Winfried Hermann, Minister of Transport for Baden-Württemberg, Stephan Sulser, Head of Cargo Management Region Southwest, Joachim Berends, Vice President of the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), and Elke Pusskeiler, Mercedes-Benz Vice President Supply Chain, participated in the discussion.

Agreement on the modal shift

During the discussion, there was a great deal of agreement among politicians, associations, the shipping industry and the rail transport companies regarding the need to shift traffic from road to rail. The biggest challenge is to ensure an intact infrastructure, the participants agreed. In addition to efforts by businesses and logistics companies to shift traffic, the political will and support for more digitalisation and automation also need to be in place for the modal shift to happen. In particular, grant schemes for single wagonload transport and track access charges, DAC, and ETCS were highlighted as important aspects. Participants also agreed that funding and charges should account for the significantly lower costs of rail compared with road transport. More access points to the rail network are also needed in Baden-Württemberg, the state where the event was held, despite a few positive examples there, such as the trimodal port of Stuttgart and the CT terminal in Horb. In addition to the event in Stuttgart, numerous events took place throughout Germany on the same weekend, for example at the Mannheim marshalling yard. There were many exciting impressions for the visitors:

Mannheim marshalling yard & maintenance depot

Starting signal for a look behind the scenes

From 15 to 17 September, Germany will celebrate all things rail, as Rail Day (Tag der Schiene) returns to illuminate this fascinating and environmentally friendly mode of transport. Across the weekend, the entire sector will showcase itself and provide a glimpse behind the scenes. 

A weekend for rail fans

This special weekend is all about rail. A combination of discussions, guided tours and insights into everyday working life will let visitors experience the world of environmentally friendly rail transport up close, further boosting its appeal among passengers and businesses alike. With over 250 events, the Pro-Rail Alliance will present the sector in a varied and entertaining way, while also aiming to recruit skilled workers and young talent. The event will have plenty on offer for young and old, providing a fascinating insight into the services and potential of the rail sector to both longstanding fans and those just discovering it.

Culture, technology and careers

Following the great success of the first Rail Day in 2022, the event's schedule has been extended by an extra day this year. Now taking place over three days, the programme will therefore offer even more activities and events, with something for everyone. Alongside special trips, vehicle exhibitions and guided tours of stations, maintenance depots and signal boxes, there will also be cultural events like concerts. There will be plenty to see and do for the whole family. Visitors will not only be able to experience exciting moments in the simulator, but also put their knowledge to the test in quizzes and treasure hunts. There will be professional speed dating events for job seekers, while visitors will also be able to learn about the various functions of a freight train.

Who organises Rail Day?

Rail Day does not have a single main organiser. The festival consists of multiple local events. In addition to DB Cargo, Rail Day involves the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport, other rail companies, transport associations and non-governmental organisations, as well as associations, societies and other institutions. The overall event is coordinated by the Pro-Rail Alliance.

Rail freight transport on the agenda

Transport plays a crucial role when it comes to CO2 emissions and their reduction. Rail freight transport is pivotal to these efforts, with each freight train capable of replacing 52 heavy goods vehicles and reducing CO2 emissions by 80 to 100%. DB Cargo has therefore chosen the slogan "Freight belongs on rail" to emphasise this. This is the guiding principle behind the various activities and exhibitions taking place simultaneously across the country. A central element of the event will be the panel discussion at the Port of Stuttgart with representatives from politics and business, including the state of Baden-Württemberg's Minister for Transport Winfried Hermann and Stephan Sulser, Head of Cargo Management Region Southwest. 

Learn more: DB Cargo highlights

Visits to marshalling yards and maintenance facilities
Exciting insights into everyday work, including vehicle exhibition and locomotive rides in Munich North, Kornwestheim, Nuremberg, Regensburg East, Halle (Saale) and Mannheim 

Site tours
Visits to the DB Cargo sites in Würzburg, Bebra, Magdeburg and Hagen, the Darmstadt railport and the logistics centre in Nuremberg, among others

Family festivals at stations
Colourful events with locomotive rides, bouncy castles, food stalls and more in Maschen (Seevetal), Osnabrück, Halle (Saale), Seddin, Koblenz-Lützel, Mannheim and Würzburg 

Tag der Schiene

Moving freight at the portThe Port of Stuttgart will have plenty on offer over two days: 
Friday will be dedicated to industry visitors. Under the motto "Decarbonising transport needs an efficient railway network", there will be an exhibition of state-of-the-art shunting and traction vehicles, as well as keynote speeches and a panel discussion with political and economic representatives. Topics will include digital automatic coupling, the European Train Control System and more.

On the Saturday, the focus of the event will switch to families. In addition to guided tours and insights into work processes, there will be an excavator competition and equipment demonstrations for kids. 

Technology presentation
Exhibition of Havelländische Eisenbahn's exciting digitalisation projects, including those related to the digital automatic coupling (DAC), in Berlin Spandau.

A special harbour tourS-Bahn Hamburg will organise a special trip by S-Bahn to the port of Hamburg, with fish rolls and a guide. At the tower in Waltershof, visitors will learn more about the importance of rail freight transport and the Port of Hamburg.


The exact programme and further information can be found on the official web page: https://www.tag-der-schiene.de/