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
Station 2: Vienna, Austria on 14.01.2019
Locomotive: ÖBB 1016 023 – animals depicted: flamingo, kingfisher, chameleon, killer whale:
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:
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.
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:
We thought this update would conclude our coverage of the train’s journey across Europe, but no. Although SBB Cargo announced that the #NoahsTrain containers would be shipped out to Chili, the containers were taken south again.
Update 6: the unexpected one – Noah’s train in Rome
On 07.05.2019 Noah’s train arrived in Rome, behind brand new Mercitalia 494 005. Again two containers with two artworks each were added to the convoy – Wolf, Butterfly, Snake and a Magpier were depicted this time. A short video:
Ferrovie.info also made a video report. A next stop has been announced too: 22.05.2019 Leipzig – International Transport Forum 2019.
Do you remember #NoahsTrain? The longest mobile artwork to protect the climate stops in Rome #Mercitalia today. Follow the journey via Instagram to see the new containers! #RailFreightForward #30by2030 https://t.co/kQimzmGdQU pic.twitter.com/fjw1bXBwUm
— CER (@CER_railways) May 7, 2019