At the 13th annual European Railway Award in Brussels, the European rail sector gathered to honour Geert Pauwels for his contribution to the sector over the past ten years. The jury lauded him for the successful transformation of a loss-making division of the Belgian Railways to the largest private rail freight company in Europe, and for the launch of the unique and innovative Green Xpress Network.
Libor Lochman, executive director of the Community of European Railways: “The successful privatization of Lineas, its innovative rail offering, and the clear vision for modal shift are a true inspiration. Geert Pauwels has led the way in showing the positive impact of rail, not only as a transport solution, but also as the answer to societal issues such as climate change and road congestion.”
Taking on the role of CEO in 2009, Geert Pauwels successfully led the company out of near-bankruptcy. In 2015, he realized the privatization of the company with the entry of private equity group Argos Wityu and set out for European expansion with the launch of the Green Xpress Network.
Geert Pauwels: “I am extremely proud. This is recognition for the hard work of all our colleagues, for the trust of our shareholder, and for the belief of our customers in what we do. We will continue to pursue modal shift in Europe, expand our Green Xpress Network, and help our customers optimize their supply chain with positive impact on climate and mobility.”
At the award ceremony, Geert Pauwels also called on decision-makers within and outside the sector to unite behind the Modal Shift. “The time is now. We have ten years to drastically shift to sustainable transport and keep our climate targets achievable. Let’s seize the opportunity with the Green Deal to create the right context for the Modal Shift. Let’s reinvent rail and again challenge the status quo of how we do transport. We need everyone present here to unite behind this single purpose of Modal Shift: rail companies, infrastructure managers, policymakers, everyone. By 2030, I hope to see that rail has become the backbone of the European transport system.”
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About the European Railway Award
The railway sector is full of bright ideas, ingenious innovation and bold policy initiatives devised to enhance, grow and strengthen the rail mode today and for the future. The European Railway Award, jointly organised by the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) and the Association of the European Rail Supply Industry (UNIFE), celebrates these achievements by recognizing the inspired individuals behind them.
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