[EU] Rail Freight Forward – EU railfreight operators present “Noah’s Train” [updated x8]

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. 

We are following along the train’s journey across Europe. Current status: on 04.06.2019 it reached Munich (DE) and the Transport Logistic 2019 trade fair; 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:

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.

Station 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.

Station 7: Leipzig

On 22.05.2019 Noah’s train arrived in Leipzig, with a new chimpanzee-themed container, as well as a ‘blank’ one, which was live-painted at the station by creative children:

The train arrived at Leipzig Hbf, headed by DB Cargo’s rising European star: Vectron 193 360. We thank Steve & Patrick Wiktor for sharing the images below with us:

Noah’s train at Leipzig Hauptbahnhof, headed by DB Cargo’s 193 360 22.05.2019 Photo: Patrick Wiktor

And 193 361 was seen at the other end of the train:


Noah’s train at Leipzig Hauptbahnhof, with DB Cargo’s 193 361 in the back 22.05.2019 Photo: Patrick Wiktor

Station 8: Munich

On the 4th of June the exhibition reached Munich in Germany. On the picture below we see it moving towards Munich North station with Vectron 193 361 of DB Cargo. Our thanks for the nice picture goes to Simon Buchmann (check out his Instagram):

Noah’s Train, headed by Vectron 193 361 ‘Das ist Grün’, seen at Daglfing (DE) on its way to Munich North 04.06.2019 Photo: Simon Buchmann

The date of its arrival was of no coincidence, as this is when the Transport Logistic 2019 trade fair started. There, six European CEOs took part in a podium discussion about joint efforts to strengthen rail freight traffic. Afterwards, they sealed their joint goal by signing a painted Noah’s Train container, that was contributed by SBB:

The Noah’s Train container at the Transport Logistic 2019 trade fair 04.06.2019

The train made a stop at Munich East station, where a special “Kds for the Climate” container was live-painted by children:

Children painting the special ‘Kids fro Climate’ container at Munchen Ost station Photo: Rail Freight Forward 04.06.2019

Next stop: To be announced.