22 - Uşak Afyon Railway - Steve Hobson

How green is railway?

How environmental-friendly is railway? Here are environmental facts about railway transportation:

What’s the share of transportation in CO2 emissions?

It’s 27% in EU27. Second in the list after energy production (34%)1.

And what’s the share of emissions of railways in all transportation modes?

It’s 1%, where trucks have a share of 72%, sea/river has 15% and air has 12%1.

But the emissions must be decreasing by time?

Yes, except transportation.  From 1990 to 2007, in EU15 countries, big decline in CO2 emissions from wastes, agriculture and industry, and slight decrease in energy production, but 26% increase in transportation2 had been seen.

Maybe the big share of trucks is because of big share in transportation?

Let’s compare the emissions for 100 to load from Basel to Rotterdam (700 km). It’s 4.7 to with Euro4 trucks, 2.4 to with barge and 0.6 to with train (including emission during production of electricity)3.

What about passenger transportation?

The emission for 1 passenger traveling from Berlin to Frankfurt (545 km) is 98kg by car, 85kg by plane and 26kg by train4.

What about diesel trains? Electric locomotives are not available all over the world.

The diesel consumption for transporting 100 to load from Basel to Rotterdam is 1779 liters for truck, 911 liters for barge and 770 liters for trains with diesel loco3.

Written by Onur Uysal

Railway consultant. Owner of RT Media & Consultancy. Founder and editor of Rail Turkey.

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