The times are changing. Sometimes quicker than we would like. The coronavi-rus pandemic has come to dominate our well-being and social life. The economy, and with it rail freight as the mainstay of our basic services, is doing its utmost to survive the lockdown. The impacts are massive. The Federal Office of Transport (FOT) reports an average of 30% fewer trains in transalpine freight traffic.
Will this change everything in the future? Probably not, but it will take a long time for business to recover. The rail freight transport of the future will undergo fur-ther innovations and adjustments, even if it is only to establish new supply chains. I fully agree with Peter Balzer, who calls for a new culture of innovation in rail freight transport where everyone pulls together. In response to popular demand we have reproduced the entire interview with Peter Balzer on page 10, originally published in the rail industry magazine Eisenbahntechnische Rundschau.
A major advantage in its competition with road transport is that rail traffic is al-lowed to continue through the night. The basic prerequisite for maintaining this is, and will remain, noise-reduction meas-ures. Dr Rudolf Sperlich, Deputy Director of the FOT, outlines in his lead article and subsequent interview, the achievements to date. In addition, Jens-Erik Galdiks, Head of Fleet Technology at SBB Cargo, describes on page 5 the next area to tackle: the locomotives.
An overview of the market for locomotives is provided in the article on page 8 by Stefan Hofstetter, CTO, and Willem Goosen, CEO, of European Loc Pool AG, as well as the summarised table on the back of the infoletter.
I hope you will enjoy reading these articles along with all the others in our infoletter. Keep healthy!