Abstract: The German Railroad and the Late Discovery of Environmental Friendliness

Christopher Kopper


Today, the environmental friendliness of railroads, such as high energy efficiency and low rates of emissions, is their main asset in the struggle for higher government funding. Although the ecological advantages of railroad over road transportation were already present in public discourses from the early 1960s, the Federal German Railroad (Deutsche Bundesbahn) was slow to market its ecological benefits to a growing segment of environmentally conscious customers. This paper will examine the reluctance of a state-owned corporation like the Federal German Railroad to capitalize on its environmental edge both in politcal discourse and in consumer marketing.