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The future of train travel


More electric cars, greener housing and no more free plastic bags: we've all noticed and heard of the measures that governments are taking to try and stop the earth from warming up even more. However, you don't hear a lot about the things that railway companies are trying to achieve in this, even though they're actually doing a lot in this regard. We'll break it down for you. 

Did you know...


...that when the emissions of the transport sector in total were growing, the emissions of the railway sector were actually going down?


Of all the CO2 that's emitted by EU countries (in 2014), the transport sector was responsible for 31%. Cars and other vehicles contribute the most (73,4%), followed by aviation (12,6%) and maritime transport (10,6%), with lastly the railway sector, which is responsible for 1,6% of the transport sector CO2 emissions.


So clearly travelling by train is the most responsible way to get from A to B to C and further. Are you ready to discover all of Europe by train?


What are railway companies doing to fight climate change?


The European railway sector may be a small player in the transport world, but that doesn't mean there aren't ways they can and will improve! As we wrote above, they've been decreasing their emissions for years already.


The bigger goals they're wanting to reach with all their improvements are:


"Compared to 1990, the European Railways will have reduced the specific average CO2 emissions* from train operations by 50% in 2030, with the ultimate goal to provide society with carbon free train travel in 2050."


There are also goals to become more energy efficient and reduce the total exhaust emissions of Nitrogen Oxides and Particulate Matter. And what's great is that they are actually well on their way in reaching their goals! 


You can read more about the sustainable mobility strategy on the websites of the CER and the UIC. For more information about a railway you can visit the website of the railway company that has your interest.


*Specific CO2 emissions are defined as emissions of CO2 per transport unit (passenger-km or tonne-km), specified by mode (road, rail, inland, maritime, air)

What can you do?

You can also help to improve the state of our beautiful planet. Learn more about sustainability and how to become a more responsible traveller. With just one step at a time we can help make the world a little bit better!


More Interrail and sustainability →