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APM Terminals demonstrates support for rail freight

As one of the world’s first carbon-neutral container terminals, APM Terminals Maasvlakte II was a logical choice for the final destination on Noah’s Train’s European tour. Noah’s Train is the world’s longest mobile artwork and promotes climate-friendly rail freight transport.

During its European tour, two containers, designed by local renowned street artists were added to Noah’s Train at each destination. The art works draw inspiration from what may well be the very first story about environmental protection: the story of Noah, who built an ark and saved countless animals from the Great Flood. 

On October 11, 2019, APM Terminals Maasvlakte II, located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands will transfer the train’s containers from its dedicated cargo rail track onto a deep-sea vessel. The occasion will be marked by an event attended by local dignitaries. The container’s next destination is Santiago de Chile, which will be hosting the United Nations climate conference from 2nd December. 

Noah’s Train is commissioned by Rail Freight Forward – a coalition of Europe’s leading railway companies – which aims to raise awareness about modern and sustainable freight transport solutions and to make a real contribution to climate protection and social responsibility. 

Rail freight volumes increase 5-fold

Rail freight transport produces up to 9 times less CO2 than road haulage. APM Terminals strongly support The Rail Freight Forward coalition’s goal of increasing the railway’s share in freight transport from its current level of 18% to 30% by 2030. APM Terminals Maasvlakte II’s modern multimodal open-access Rail Terminal is already equipped to contribute to this and has increased the number of containers leaving the terminal from around 500 per week in 2018, to over 2,500 per week this year.

This significant increase in volumes has been achieved through added a number of key inland rail connections and doubling or even quadrupling its number of weekly services in some instances. This year, train services from the terminal to an inland depot in Venlo on the German-Dutch border were close to tripled. Over the coming weeks, the terminal has plans to double the frequency of rail services to Duisburg.

New cross-border rail services

Despite differences in technical regulations, safety requirements and labour legislation between countries, the terminal has managed to overview these complexities and will also launch a new regular rail service to Herne in Germany this month.

“This is an absolute necessity,” says Michael Winter, who is one of the creative minds behind the initiative and Head of Marketing and Communication at Rail Cargo Austria, one of the 5 founding members of Rail Freight Forward. “We already know that freight transport in Europe is expected to see rapid growth in the years ahead. An extra 1 million trucks will be required to handle these increased volumes over the next decade. Just imagine it – a million trucks backed up as far as the eye can see.”

*Image: © Noahs Train_ c Linea