Crowd on track
Germany has its first crowdfunded train service in the shape of Locomore which is now serving a 370-mile route between Berlin and Stuttgart in competition with giant rail operator Die Bahn. The train takes 6 hours and 45 minutes to travel between the two cities against DB’s 5 hours 35 minutes – but Locomore serves more intermediate stations and has lower fares than the rail behemoth.
Locomore has strong green credentials too. The electricity-powered locomotive is powered by renewable resources, while every time the train brakes, the friction of the wheels against the rail generates energy to boost the railway’s overall energy efficiency.
The outfit’s rolling stock was part of DB’s fleet in the 1970s and renovation work now sees them kitted out in the decade’s livery, including a coat of Zeitgeist orange paint. Passengers can sip fairtrade coffee, organic lemonade, and gluten-free beer, as well as enjoy vegan millet-bread sandwiches and free-range pork.
The company raised cash on crowdfunding platform Startnext, picking up more than $640,000 in private funding.