Climate protection by truck: that’s why more goods have to be on the rails

More money for rail than for road, more attractive local public transport, 15 million purely electric cars by 2030: these are the traffic light plans for traffic. Horrible news for drivers? Not necessarily, after all there is a lot of catching up to do. After all, the balance sheet of the old federal government shows a clear preference for trunk roads: From 2017 to 2020 exactly 635 kilometers were expanded or built under ex-Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU), 376 kilometers of which were autobahns. And what about the rails? In the same period, the federal government subsidized or built just 147 kilometers of new rail line.

Money invested in rail makes sense

Investing in rail transport is also an opportunity for private transport. Because if more goods are transported by rail instead of by road, that significantly reduces CO2 emissions in road traffic. After all, freight transport causes over 35 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in transport. Trucks emit an average of 113 grams of CO2 per ton-kilometer, i.e. per 1000 kilograms transported – unless the hydrogen truck arrives. The train weighs just 17 grams – and the trend is falling, as more and more diesel locomotives are literally being pushed onto the siding.

Why delivery traffic could take longer

Get off the road, get on the rails. That sounds reasonable. But of course not without restrictions. Instead of sending a truck directly on the big trip to Hamburg in Munich, a van first has to bring the goods to the train station – fortunately that could now be done electrically and cleanly, because what works on the “last mile” also applies to the ” first mile “; but takes time. The train takes you across Germany, clean vans dock again at various stations and bring the goods to the customer – that’s the goal. In concrete terms, however, this means: the Amazon parcel may not arrive the next day, but the day after that. Is waiting for better climate protection bad? Yes, many will say, because we have become very used to fast, uncomplicated deliveries. No, I say, if in return the car is not demonized. It’s better than standing your legs in your stomach at a stop when the car is becoming more and more taboo. If you have to weigh up what is more important, then the car has priority over delivery traffic.

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