Geert Pauwels, the CEO of Lineas, won the 2020 European Railway Award for successfully developing a strategy making rail freight a profitable business, boosting the attractiveness of rail freight and encouraging a modal shift from road to rail.
During a special ceremony at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels, the award was handed over by Libor Lochman, CER Executive Director, and Philippe Citroën, UNIFE Director General.
“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 have ten years to drastically shift to sustainable transport and keep our climate targets achievable. Let’s reinvent rail and again challenge the status quo of how we do transport,” Geert Pauwels said when accepting the European Railway Award.
Geert Pauwels succeeded in restructuring the Belgian indebted freight incumbent into a modern, successful company, backed up by private investments. Furthermore, he has promoted the development of innovative services with a flexible transport offer, thereby boosting the attractiveness of rail freight and encouraging a modal shift from road to rail.
The award was accompanied by a donation of EUR 10.000 to the charity of the laureate’s choice. Geert Pauwels decided to give his prize money to Natuurpunt, the largest Belgian nature conservation organisation.