Rail freight as the most climate-neutral mode of transport in Europe
The DB Schenker Rail freight network in Europe is DB Schenker’s backbone when it comes to environmentally friendly transport. This is because rail freight is the most environmentally friendly mode of transport in Europe.
DB Schenker Rail is building on this advantage – for example, through better utilization of trains, modernization of facilities, and the use of low-emission locomotive engines and new particulate filters. Every day, DB Schenker and its 5,100 freight trains save around 102,000 truck trips on Europe’s roads, thus reducing 17,300 tons of CO2. The following is a summary of the measures that are currently being taken:
At this the locomotives are equipped with three-phase electric power systems that, while braking, convert the kinetic energy of the train into electricity and feed it back into the overhead lines. In 2010, the entire DB rail freight transport system saved 141 gigawatt hours this way, which is equivalent to 5 percent of DB Schenker Rail’s electricity consumption.
A new generation of vehicles
On February 15, 2001, DB Schenker Rail presented the first of the 130 new 261 series of shunters for the Hamburgregion to the press at the marshalling yard in Maschen. The locomotive cost €1.8 million and is a high-tech product from Voith Turbo Lokomotivtechnik in Kiel. This order is worth a total of €240 million.
The special particulate filters alone, which can trap 97 percent of soot particles, cost €10 million. The 80-ton Gravita 10BB with its top speed of 100 kph already meets the strict emission standards that come into effect in 2012.
Improved aerodynamics and an increased proportion of electrified lines can facilitate a reduction in specific CO2-emissions of up to 10 percent (Eco Institute).
The low-emission vehicle fleet
DB Schenker rail has successively equipped its older diesel locomotives, which are mainly used for shunting, with new, low-emission engines. Only vehicles with state-of-the-art technology can meet the latest environmental standards. DB Schenker Rail has invested half a billion euros in this program in recent years.
The TEMA box
To maintain day-to-day awareness of energy savings, energy consumption indicators (known as TEMA boxes) have been developed. They show the drivers how efficiently they are driving during the journey itself, and give them regular feedback on their personal energy consumption.
Despite the increasing amount of traffic, DB has set itself the target of halving noise from rail transport by 2020 compared to 2000 levels. To meet this ambitious aim, measures have been taken to reduce the noise on vehicles. New composite brake shoes (K and LL shoes) prevent roughening of the wheels and reduce the noise made by goods wagons, thus helping to make the whole rail network quieter. In order to achieve comprehensive noise reduction, the existing goods wagons, which are still equipped with cast-iron brake shoes, need to be refitted. In line with the pilot project “Quiet Rhine” DB Schenker Rail converts up to 1,250 goods wagons and contributes to the voluntary noise reduction scheme of the German federal government.
Use of energy and resources in vehicle maintenance
DB Schenker has been recording and evaluating the stationary energy consumption for vehicle maintenance since 2002, examining figures for water, electricity, and heating. Every year, DB Schenker sets targets for reducing the consumption of these resources.
DB Schenker Rail has more than 4,500 engine drivers and they have all been trained in energy-saving driving.If a train has reached its top speed, it can continue rolling for long stretches with only slight losses of speed. Compared to conventional driving styles, energy savings of 5 percent with electric locomotives and 4 percent in diesel-powered trains can be attained and CO2-emissions can be reduced.
Last modified: 09.05.2012