These Train Passengers Will Eat Out in Style in 2023!

Good news for rail travel fans, thanks to a U-turn by a major network.

Portrait of a man enjoying a warm beverage in a porcelain cup.

(ViChizh /

Transportation company, Deutsche Bahn, is headed backwards into the rail travel of yesteryear. You heard right! From this year, train passengers on this national rail network, part of the second-largest transportation company in the world, are set to enjoy quality porcelain and glass crockery, once a feature of luxury train dining, as their host company goes green among other socially responsible transformations.

Quality porcelain tableware is part of a green drive to curb waste
As Deutsche Bahn explains on its website, while it is understandable that many enjoy food and drinks on the go, this has a cost in terms of the billions of disposable cups and containers that end up in the trash. These not only eat up huge quantities of wood and water in the production process, but also often lead to road and environmental pollution. 

As part of the company’s mission to take a stand against this waste of valuable resources, it now offers meals served in reusable cups, plates and bowls on its intercity and high-speed trains, as well as in its staff cafeterias and catering service.

The above post's text translates to “Are all the cups still in the cupboard? No, but from 2023 on they will be on-site.”

“We offer our customers a sustainable eating experience just like at home. Starting on January 1, 2023, we will be using high-quality porcelain tableware to serve hot beverages, main meals and snacks to be enjoyed in the on-board bistro and elsewhere on the train. All other drinks will be served in glasses,” the rail network shares. 

This stems from the realization that these traditional crockery staples that are made with natural raw materials, are reusable, durable and more environmentally-friendly than disposable packaging. 

Treehugger is keen to situate this initiative in a broader, national push to trim food packaging waste: “Starting January 1, 2023, Germany is requiring all restaurants to use reusable packaging for takeout food products, while keeping disposables on hand for special requests.” This, the Independent reported,  forms part of a new supply chain law, which considers the environmental impact of medium and large companies. The Supply Chain Act passed in June 2021, incorporates social responsibility as well as specific environmental risks.

More socially responsible travel is on the way
The company’s new express trains are already in service, with more to be introduced over the next six years. They can reach a top speed of 320 kilometers (199 miles) per hour, up from the previous 300 kilometers (186 miles) . However it is the inside improvements that offer the most  impressive green and inclusive features. These include space for multiple bicycles, and a fast-in lifting platform making it easier for wheelchair users, reports Public News Time.

The careful use of resources already plays a key role in onboard catering: since June 2021, only FSC-certified wooden cutlery made with wood from responsibly managed forests has been used, Rail Target reveals. 

Treehugger praises Deutsche Bahn for taking its environmental commitments seriously. Since March 2022, for instance, it reports that 50 percent of its on-board menu has been vegan or vegetarian. Dairy milk alternatives are available, as are several fair-trade-certified beverages.

Rail Target adds that Deutsche Bahn has consistently donated food to food banks, station missions and other charitable organizations in Germany.

The company has also set itself the ambitious goal of being carbon-neutral by 2040.

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