Germany’s Federal Minister of Transport, Alexander Dobrindt, today published the Rail Freight Transport Master Plan. With numerous measures, the round table concept pursues the goal of achieving innovative and efficient rail freight transport. From the point of view of the German Rail Industry Association (VDB), this is a major step towards achieving ecologically and economically sustainable logistics. In particular, the planned reduction in route prices will create an enormous boost for digital rail freight transport. The measures are also in line with the German federal government’s plans to achieve quiet rail freight transport, which include introducing an innovation premium for particularly quiet freight cars and banning all loud freight cars following the timetable changes in 2020/21. "The goal now must be to ensure that the key measures in the master plan are included in the next coalition agreement and are ambitiously implemented for Rail Freight Transport 4.0," said VDB’s Chief Executive, Ben Moebius.
Berlin, 23 June 2017 – "Today, many technologies for the rail freight transport of tomorrow are already available: digital, networked and quiet. The Rail Freight Transport Master Plan paves the way for innovations to be applied systematically," added Möbius. "We need to improve even further how we reconcile climate protection, economic efficiency and multi-modality within logistics. Rail freight transport provides the key to this when it is state of the art. That must be our aim."
In September 2016, the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) established a round table to strengthen rail freight transport. Led by Parliamentary State Secretary Michael Odenwald, associations and companies worked on drawing up the Rail Freight Transport Master Plan published today, including the VDB.
The Rail Freight Transport Master Plan comprises ten measures. The focus is on an efficient infrastructure, the comprehensive use of innovative potential and improvements to the transport policy framework. Five immediate measures have been adopted. For example, a test field is planned for digitising and automating the marshalling of trains in rail freight transport. The concept for a Federal Rail Programme 4.0 is also aimed at promoting innovation projects for digitising and automating rail transport.
"The rail industry considers the round table process to be a huge step forward. Both the promotion of innovation and a fair regulatory framework create better rail freight transport," underlines Möbius. "The rail industry in Germany has the know-how for Rail Freight Transport 4.0. The industry proves this daily in many places around the world: in the heat of Australia as well as in the cold of Scandinavia and Russia – with innovation made in Germany."
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