New years message Geert Pauwels

09 January 2018

Press

Lineas: a clear message from the outset

Lineas, your freight force, came into being in 2017. We have introduced our new identity in an impactful manner. The change of name was the culmination of the transformation we implemented and a confirmation of the powerful, dynamic approach to  our customers. I hope that people will also remember our message along with your new name: Lineas has grand ambitions to register profitable growth in Europe and to achieve the modal shift in the process. We really want to make a difference with our company and innovative rail solutions on the mobility and environment front. We have received enormous support for this mission from our customers and other stakeholders, as well as from our colleagues at Lineas.

 

Working on a rail offer using road transport as a benchmark

We have undoubtedly struck a nerve with this modal shift mission. Traffic congestion does not merely affect harbours, shippers and logistics companies, but indubitably causes each of us to lose precious time every day. Freight transport by rail provides a structural solution, but then rail products must be as good if not better than road transport.  At Lineas, we are all too aware that  our rail products must be so good that companies will opt for rail on their own. We are working very hard to develop our European Green Xpress Network further. This is a network of direct rail products that are just as rapid as lorries, competitive in terms of price, and operate five times a week on schedule between Belgium and the relevant economic hubs for our customers. We have already shown that our Green Xpress Network convinces customers to opt for rail. A whole number of new destinations will be added next year. We are also well aware that total, door-to-door logistics solutions will be multimodal.  We are therefore pooling forces and resources with lorries and inland freight to develop a sustainable multimodal offer together.  

 

It must become as easy to drive a train through Europe  as it is to drive a lorry

We assume our responsibility as a rail operator to expand a competitive rail offer. Extra efforts will however be needed from infrastructure managers and policymakers in order to accelerate the modal shift to rail. They must ensure that a train can crisscross through Europe as easily as a lorry. It is in the interest of infrastructure managers to focus on rail users and to provide end-to-end service.  I appeal to policymakers in turn to make sure that they guide non-rail users gently in the direction of rail.

 

I would like to wish everyone a safe, mobile and healthy 2018. I hope that more and more people will find their way to rail and that together we can contribute to a cleaner world and smoother mobility.

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