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Wholesale Banking

Electric rail transport as a key to sustainable mobility

Whether it's the daily commute, going on holiday or freight transport, rail transport plays an important role in the daily lives of many people. In addition, rail is regarded as a particularly socially acceptable and environmentally friendly means of transport. According to calculations carried out by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, the transport sector is responsible for one fifth of the CO2 emitted in Germany. The railway, which is already 90 percent electrified, is the key to further reducing CO2 emissions in transport and to protecting the climate in an effective way.

Reducing emissions

The challenge in the coming years is to further increase the proportion of electric-powered trains and locomotives across Europe in order to help achieve climate targets – such as within the framework of the European Union Green Deal. The easier it is for people and businesses to switch from road to rail, the sooner environmental damage caused by road transport can be reduced.

A survey by the Alpha Trains Group shows the amount of CO2 emissions that can be saved by using electrically powered locomotives and trains compared to road transport. In comparison to the car, Alpha Trains' electric passenger trains can save around 370,000 tonnes of CO2 with the same number of passengers. When it comes to freight transport, the potential for savings is even greater: using the latest generation of electric and low-emission diesel locomotives saves 1.27 million tonnes in CO2 compared to using lorries. In other words, lorries consume up to 6.7 times more CO2 and cars 3 times as much as CO2 as alternatives on the railway.

Working together to achieve a common goal

In order to take advantage of this potential for savings, Alpha Trains has set itself the goal of consistently increasing the proportion of trains and locomotives powered by electric or hybrid engines. The company offers leasing solutions for locomotives and passenger trains throughout Europe, thereby contributing to more sustainable transport. ING has been helping Alpha Trains for several years on the path to a more sustainable future. In addition to transactions that funded the purchase of new electric locomotives and trains, our experts in the sector advised the company to get certified through the Climate Bond Initiative and Sustainalytics. With this holistic approach to sustainability, Alpha Trains is a pioneer in the industry and demonstrates how banks can help companies with sustainable business.