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Wiedeking: "We are using railways because we care so much about roads."Head of Bahn symbolically presents 142 mph electric locomotive to Porsche

Stuttgart/Berlin. At the New Berlin Train Station today, the CEO of Deutsche Bahn AG, Hartmut Mehdorn, symbolically presented a state-of-the-art electric locomotive with exclusive Porsche styling to Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking, CEO of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG. The new "Porsche locomotive“ is a 6,400 kilowatt 182 series electric locomotive, which can accelerate from zero to 200 km/h, or 124 mph, in around 20 seconds. In future, it will be used to pull heavy goods trains through the whole of Germany.

With this gesture, the Bahn boss thanked the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer for its ongoing activities in shifting the transport of vehicles and components to railways. Mehdorn said: "Porsche is a good example of how logistics organization can be both intelligent and environmentally friendly. It is precisely here that our strengths lie as an integrated mobility and logistics group.”

The sports car manufacturer will shift engine and component deliveries from roads to railways for the first time in the spring of 2006, with the help of newly developed rail wagons and megatrailers. Wiedeking said: "Thanks to our close cooperation with Bahn, we are already avoiding around 15,000 truck transports every year, which is equivalent to a journey of almost 20 million kilometers.” The future shifts, Wiedeking continued, would spare German roads from thousands more truck journeys. Of course, Porsche's actions are not entirely selfless: "As a sports car manufacturer, we are using railways because we care so much about roads,” admitted the Porsche CEO.

Porsche AG began introducing a transport and logistics concept that relies heavily on Deutsche Bahn in February 2001. All vehicles intended for overseas exports have since been transported from the Porsche loading station in Kornwestheim in special wagons to the North Sea ports in Emden and Bremerhaven. On their return journey, the wagons are loaded with Boxster and Cayman models from Finland intended for customers in the south of Europe. Porsche also relies on Deutsche Bahn at its plant in Leipzig: Everyday, preassembled body shells are brought to the plant's own station on a special train and are introduced to the production line from there. Also, Cayenne vehicles intended for overseas export from Leipzig are transported to the North Sea ports exclusively by rail.