More waste transport by rail

ÖBB Rail Cargo Group will transport more waste by rail, since Transport clause in the Waste Management Act comes into force on 1 January 2023.

ÖBB Rail Cargo Group (RCG) already transports around 8 million tonnes of waste and secondary materials (such as scrap metal, municipal waste and waste from the construction industry) by rail in Austria every year. This saves more than 146,000 tonnes of CO2 annually compared to transporting it by truck, around 300,000 truck journeys are avoided. From 1st January 2023 the new Waste Management Act (“Abfallwirtschaftsgesetz” or “AWG” in German) comes into force and this is an important milestone in the modal shift to rail and an important contribution to achieving Austria’s climate goals.

From the start of 2023 shipments of waste with a total weight of more than 10 tonnes that are being moved over a distance of 300 km or more must be transported by rail. From

1st January 2024, it will be compulsory to transport waste by rail for distances of over 200 km, and from 1st January 2026 for distances of over 100 km. In total, there is the potential for around 15 million tonnes of waste to be transported by rail. The Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) will provide a digital platform for managing rail transport tenders. Independently of this, ÖBB Rail Cargo Group is already inviting its clients to work together to develop and implement individual rail logistics solutions.

Investment in new rolling stock

In preparation for the amendment to the AWG, RCG is making an initial investment of 75 million euros in new MOBILER containers and underframes so that it can handle the increased waste transports. This will gradually double the current stock of MOBILER containers to a total of 2,500 units by 2026.

Use of the MOBILER system without a crane or separate railway connection

MOBILER logistics units, consisting of containers, freight wagons (intermodal underframes) and road vehicles, can be used flexibly for transporting a wide variety of goods. They have been used successfully for many several years, particularly for waste disposal and for transporting construction materials. The hydraulic lifting device on the MOBILER semi-trailer makes it possible to transfer MOBILER containers from truck to underframe without a crane or dedicated industrial siding.

Photo: OBB Rail Cargo Group