30 Aug 2019
It is one of Deutsche Bahn’s most important business goals, as part of its new strategy ‘Starke Schiene‘ (strong rail), to adopt measures that are beneficial to our climate and our environment. And as a mode of transport, rail likes to position itself as the most environmentally-friendly option. Consequently, Deutsche Bahn says it will reduce its use of the broad-spectrum herbicide glyphosate.
Large sections of Germany’s railway lines will no longer be treated with glyphosate as of next year. Deutsche Bahn says it will instead focus increasingly on mechanical, manual methods to keep the tracks free from vegetation, thereby ensuring safe train operations.
Deutsche Bahn says it has been working on developing effective alternatives to glyphosate for some years now. The company is currently testing potential solutions. Options include, for example, solutions that use hot water, electricity and UV light.
DB is currently responsible for 0.4 percent of herbicide use in Germany. The company was already able to steadily reduce the quantities of the product in previous years.
In detail, Deutsche Bahn sprayed 93 percent of its 60,500km of track in 2016. That’s 1.24kg/km, with a total of 70 metric tons. In addition to glyphosate, Deutsche Bahn uses flazasulfuron and flumioxazin. In 2017 then DB cut that figure to 67 metric tons; and down to 57 tons in 2018.
One of the reasons Deutsche Bahn has managed this is technological in nature. Improving technology has meant that applications can be increasingly precise. For example, Deutsche Bahn has equipped its vehicles that perform the spraying with cameras and sensors.
Regarding its use of glyphosate, Deutsche Bahn has said:
“We commission specialist companies to ensure that no active substances make their way onto adjacent land. As a user of glyphosate, we are closely following the discussions on this compound.”
Monsanto first developed the herbicide in the 1970s and the company still sells it under the brand name Roundup, but its patent expired in 2000.
ABB’s Enviline Energy Storage System is being used by Metro Trains Melbourne to capture, store and reuse energy created by braking trains.
Over two thirds of suppliers (67%) have committed to Network Rail’s science-based targets initiative aimed at limiting carbon emissions.
Limited progress is being made regarding the UK Government's rail decarbonisation plans according to a Railway Industry Association report.
A new report highlights the role of HS2 and high speed rail in general in reducing emissions and ultimately achieving net zero.
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Network Rail has announced an additional £2m in emergency funding to help protect the Cambrian Line from future extreme weather events
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has released its report into the Stonehaven Derailment, in which three people lost their lives.
SNCF Voyageurs and Alstom have unveiled the first French electric-diesel-battery regional train this week.
CAF and Iberdrola have signed a framework agreement to promote the use of green hydrogen in the railway and passenger transport sectors.
Talgo has agreed a €35m green loan with the European Investment Bank to finance its research, development and innovation (RDI) strategy.
Network Rail has released its new Third Adaption Report, which outlines the risks climate change poses to the UK’s railway.
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HS2 has published its Net Zero Carbon Plan, which sets out how it plans to make the project net zero carbon from 2035.
Jonn Elledge gets into the Christmas spirit and does some finger-pointing as to who is really to blame for the state of Britain's railways.
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The Integrated Rail Plan published today, 18 November 2021, announces a huge slash in new railway lines being built in England.
Jonn Elledge laments COP26's focus on electric vehicles to the exclusion of all other modes of transport, including the cleanest of them all.
For Transport Day at COP26 (10 Nov 2021), UITP and UIC have released a joint statement urging a focus on rail and public transport.
Following severe flooding in Germany in July, Deutsche Bahn has reopened part of the Ahr Valley Railway to passenger traffic again today.
Hitachi Rail and ScottishPower have signed a three-year deal for 100 percent renewable electricity (wind, solar, hydro-electric).
Germany is lagging behind the rest of Europe when it comes to rail network electrification says Allianz pro Schiene.
A study commissioned by the RDG has found that building the UK’s net zero railway could lead to the creation of approximately 6,000 jobs.
Scotland’s First Minister has said that decarbonising transport, including rail services, can help reduce the threat of climate change.
Network Rail has announced a £25m plan to protect the Newport-Gloucester line from further damage caused by extreme weather.
New research by the Rail Delivery Group has highlighted the negative effect new commuting habits could have on city centre economies.
New open access operator Lumo will offer direct, fully electric rail services between London and Edinburgh starting at £14.90 for a single.
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Network Rail is delivering works to prevent the tracks between Crewe and Chester from flooding as part of the Great North Rail Project.
A new section of the MTA Coney Island Yard Complex is being fortified against extreme weather to make it more resilient to climate change.
Deutsche Bahn continues to ramp up its green power supply by completing its first cross-border, long-term green electricity contract.
Hybrid cars built in the Midlands will soon be carried to continental Europe via an eco-locomotive that runs on hydro-treated vegetable oil.
Deutsche Bahn has taken stock after the 2021 floods, saying the damage is of historic proportions and might take years to fix in full.
HS2 designers are set to more than halve the amount of embedded carbon used in one of the high-speed rail project’s viaducts.
DB has reported significant damage to rail infrastructure in Germany following the extreme storms in Europe last week.
The UK government has published its Decarbonising Transport plan, in which it also lays out how it will decarbonise rail by 2050.
High-speed parcel deliveries to city centres will soon be made by converted passenger trains showcases Network Rail and Orion.
The Rail Delivery Group is calling on the UK government to introduce policies that will help shift freight from road to rail.
Network Rail lays its first composite railway sleepers across the weight-restricted Sherrington Viaduct between Salisbury and Warminster.
Deutsche Bahn has brought forward its deadline for achieving climate-neutrality by ten years, with 2040 as the new target date.
The RDG has warned that a cut in domestic air passenger duty would see thousands of passengers shift from rail to air.
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Why Rail Electrification: the UK rail industry has written an open letter to government to urge for a rolling programme of electrification.
France: members of parliament in the National Assembly have voted on the climate and resilience bill which bans short-haul domestic flights.
The Transport Committee has published a report, Trains Fit for the Future?, which calls for a 30-year rolling programme of electrification.
Network Rail has published an updated report on the resilience of the railways following the Stonehaven derailment.
Czech rolling stock manufacturer CZ LOKO has sold an EffiShunter 1000 shunting locomotive to Trainpoint Norway. It will be delivered in 2021.
Austrian Federal Railways and Siemens Mobility have unveiled the exterior design of the new generation of Nightjet trains in Vienna.
Finland's state railway company VR Group has started producing energy. It has installed solar panels on Pendolino Hall at its Helsinki depot.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's 10-Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution aims at incentivising driving and doesn't mention rail.
The European Parliament and Council have reached a provisional agreement on making 2021 the European Year of Rail.
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Midlands Voices report by the High Speed Rail Group says the eastern leg of HS2 up to Leeds is crucial for levelling up the country.
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Deutsche Bahn updated its vegetation management programme in 2018, investing more money and personnel and cutting storm damage by 25 percent.
The United States has a new president-elect, Joe Biden. But why is he called 'Amtrak Joe'? And what has he said about the importance of rail?
Network Rail will reopen the railway line between Aberdeen and Dundee which has been closed since August following the Stonehaven derailment.
HS1 Ltd has lauched its sustainability strategy, unveiling the goal of becoming the first UK railway run entirely on renewable energy.
The track repair works are getting underway at the site of the Stonehaven derailment, following the clearance of the wreckage.
A private rail freight protest train made its way through Berlin to draw attention to the German government's one-sided support of DB.
The Edinburgh-Glasgow railway line was serious damaged by flooding on 12 August. Following repairs, it will reopen on 21 September.
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Network Rail has published its interim report on the Stonehaven derailment as commissioned by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
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Network Rail has launched a weather action task force and an earthworks management task force following the recent Stonehaven derailment.
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The main line connecting Edinburgh and Glasgow has sustained serious damage following flooding from the nearby Union canal.
Network Rail Chief Executive Andrew Haines arrived at the Stonehaven derailment site and promised that immediate action would be taken.
3 people died when a Scotrail Inter7City service derailed at Stonehaven on 12 August. The BTP, ORR and RAIB are investigating the cause.
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Rail freight operator Lineas is putting on extra services to anticipate low water levels which previously have prevented barge transports.
Deutsche Bahn has reached a coronavirus agreement with the German government, union, works council and employers' association.
Network Rail has unveiled plans for the remaining section of new sea wall at Dawlish, with works on the first section ongoing.
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Copenhagen's new metro line, Cityringen, will open on 29 September 2019. It has been under construction for 8 years and features 17 stations.
Deutsche Bahn is experimenting with white rails to reduce the temperature of the steel, thereby avoiding stress on the rails in extreme heat.
Network Rail has run a worksite in South Wales that was 97 percent diesel-free, demonstrating the viability of solar technologies.
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