[EU] Rail Freight Forward – EU railfreight operators present “Noah’s Train” [updated]

On 14.12.2018 a mobile art installation on rails left Katowice in Poland, starting a tour across Europe. This is ‘Noah’s train’: Ten green containers serve as canvas for different graffiti artists from five countries: Poland, Austria, Germany, France and Belgium. 5 stops, and every time two more containers get a colourful new design – portraying animals. 

Update 21.02.2019: We followed along the train’s journey across Europe. Current status: on 20.02.2019 it reached Brussels (BE); scroll down to see all its stops in chronological order.

Noah’s train is organised by Rail Freight Forward, a common initiative by PKP Cargo, DB Cargo, SNCF, Lineas and the Rail Cargo Group. The World Climate Conference in Katowice in December 2018 was chosen as the starting point of a campaign that combines the idealistic ‘save the climate’ theme with an economical one: The rail operators want to boost the share of rail in overall freight transport from 18% to 30% by 2030.

The designs have a clear reference to the biblical story about Noah’s ark. Will we save the world this time?

We thank Adam Kupniewski, Alexander Eristoff and Julien Michel for sharing their photographs.

Station 1: Katowice, Poland on 14.12.2018

Locomotive: PKP Cargo ET25-003 – animals depicted: zebra, shark, lion and wale

ET25-003 and Noah’s train in Katowice (PL), 14.12.2018 Author: Adam Kupniewski

Station 2: Vienna, Austria on 14.01.2019

Locomotive: ÖBB 1016 023 – animals depicted: flamingo, kingfisher, chameleon, killer whale:

ÖBB 1016 020 with Noah’s train in Vienna on 14.01.2019 – Photo: Alexander Eristoff‎

Station 3: Berlin Germany on 24.01.2019

Locomotive: DB Cargo 193 310 – animals depicted: bear (of course), frog, crab and ladybug – the train was welcomed at Berlin’s Gesundbrunnen station by Svenja Schulze, the Federal Minister for the Environment, Alexander Doll from the DB Management Board, Dr Roland Bosch, head of DB Cargo, and Vice President of VDV (Association of German Transport Companies) Joachim Berends.

Station 4: Paris, France on 02.02.2019

Locomotive Fret SNCF Prima 427068 – animals depicted: elephant (below), toucan (below), horse and a tropical fish:

Fret SNCF’s Alstom Prima 427068 heading Noah’s Train in France, as seen at Gare de l’Est in Paris (FR) on 02.02.2019 Photo: Julien Michel

Station 5: Brussels, Belgium on 20.02.2019 (and beyond)

After the train left Paris, the containers were taken to Antwerpen and offloaded. Meanwhile, the Swiss railways (SBB Cargo) announced that it will exhibit a similar container, with artwork, during the Transport&Logistik exhibition in Munich, in June 2019.

As scheduled, on the 20th of February, the Noah’s Train arrived to its final EU destination – Brussels – pulled by a TRAXX F140 MS locomotive. It is curious that both 186 293 and 186 255 could be seen pulling it. The picture below shows both locomotives, coupled to its ends.

Lineas’ 186 293 with the colourful Noah’s train near Brussels (BE). 186 255 is in the back – 20.02.2019 – Photo: Henk Zwoferink

An interesting sticker appeared on 186 255’s frame: “This locomotive pulled the world’s longest mobile street artwork – #NoahsTrain – 20.02.2019.

An impressive video of the train’s journey was posted on social media:

This update concludes our coverage of the train’s journey across Europe. The #NoahsTrain containers will be shipped out to Chili, where the next important climate conference will take place. Meanwhile, also SBB Cargo has announced it will design a container for the product, that will be on display during Transport & Logistik 2019 in Munich.