[EU] 1116 276 becomes ÖBB’s ambassador for the #EUYearofRail

Yes, we’ve seen ÖBB’s “European Green Deal” Taurus 1116 276 before. But at an event yesterday, the operator and the European Commission gave a special assignment to the blue machine. It will be also promoting EU’s ‘European Year of Rail’, part of the ‘Green Deal’ initiative. This Expert long read explains in detail what #EUYearofRail stands for.

On 11.02.2021, an official presentation of the European Taurus 1116 276 took place at an event organized by the European Commission, ÖBB, and the Minister for Climate Protection.

Although it debuted initially as a messenger for the European Green deal, the design now also highlights the start of the European Year of Rail. To do that, an additional ‘hashtag’ sticker was added to the cab fronts. It reads #EUYearofRail. And there was a christening ceremony involved under the slogan “Clear the way for the new EU locomotive”. Champaign was also included:

1116 276 of ÖBB “#EuYearofRail” Vienna Central Station (AT) 11.02.2021 Photo credit: ÖBB

The inauguration was attended by Austria’s Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler, Martin Selmayr, Ambassador of the European Commission to Austria, and ÖBB CEO Andreas Matthä. The locomotive will be on the road in Austria and the neighboring countries as an ambassador for the European Year of Rail.

About 1116 276

ÖBB 1116 276 at Wien Siemensstrasse (Floridsdorf) – 06.07.2020 – Christopher Kavassy
  • NVR-Number: 91 81 1116 276-7 A-ÖBB;
  • Year built: 2005;
  • Factory number: 21225;
  • Previous liveries: ÖBB stock livery.

About #EUYearofRail

To encourage the use of rail by both citizens and businesses, the European Commission officially launched the European Year of Rail in January. The campaign has had a somewhat rocky start, being launched during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused major disruptions in European rail and may change the way we travel for good. Will rail be the winner in the long term? The EC has an action plan.

The start of 2021 year marked the beginning of a special initiative by the European Commission: 2021 is the European Year of Rail, it will be a year when railway transportation will be put in the spotlight across the continent.

The initiative that was proposed by the European Commission in March and adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in December 2020, is part of the EU’s efforts under the European Green Deal, the EU’s plan to make its economy sustainable by achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

1116 276 of ÖBB “#EuYearofRail” Vienna Central Station (AT) 11.02.2021 Photo credit: ÖBB

“Our future mobility needs to be sustainable, safe, comfortable and affordable. Rail offers all of that and much more! The European Year of Rail gives us the opportunity to re-discover this mode of transport. Through a variety of actions, we will use this occasion to help rail realise its full potential. I invite all of you to be part of the European Year of Rail.” – Adina Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport


Making the shift to a greener form of transport

Did you know that in the EU, rail is responsible for less than 0.5% of transport-related greenhouse gas emissions? This makes it one of the most sustainable forms of passenger and freight transport. Among other benefits, rail is also exceptionally safe and it connects people and businesses across the EU via the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).

Copyright: European Commission

Despite the aforementioned advantages, only about 7% of passengers and 11% of goods travel by rail. This is why the European Year of Rail is set to create momentum to help increase rail’s share of passenger and freight transport. It is expected that making this shift will cut the greenhouse gas emissions and pollution coming from EU transport significantly, making a huge contribution to the EU’s efforts under the European Green Deal.

From plans to action

The Commission will present an action plan to boost passenger rail transport throughout the year, and the strategy foresees measures to improve capacity and to simplify ticketing across different transport modes to further increase the attractiveness of rail.

The Commission’s legislative agenda will also reflect the European Year of Rail, with proposals on a new rail industrial partnership, better links for rail with other modes of transport, and making freight transport more sustainable overall, as outlined in the Commission’s recently adopted Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy.

For a full list of the events to come, visit the official website of the initiative – plus there an official teaser video.