European trains can lift the climate challenge of the future

New Danish report from Back-on-Track, Denmark

European railways need to get out of their sleep and will, by 2030, be able lift much more of passenger transport at distances up to 1,200 km. The railway companies cannot do this alone. They must be helped by CO2 taxes, as recommended by the Danish Climate Council, and by a coordinated and unprecedented European effort to clear the way for European trains.

In this way, climate-damaging aviation can be reduced dramatically.

A new Danish report shows that it is definitely not impossible to explore Europe, even if air travel gradually is disappearing as a European phenomenon.

Here is the report presented briefly at a Back-on-Track webinar 25.4. 2020

In exactly one week, the Swedish Transport Administration will show how the first night trains from Sweden and Denmark can get started. Now it is important not to sit on your hands and be satisfied with the establishment of one or two night trains according to the Danish political traffic agreement. The establishment of night trains must be seen far more broadly, we must examine whether trains can really replace flights in Europe? and when it can be done? Is there a good social economy in it? And if there is good finances in it, then there must also be the necessary willingness to invest.

Excerpt from the report’s conclusions:

  • European railways have the potential to gradually replace flights in Europe until 2050.
  • Both capacity and speed must be increased on the rails, and this requires a large and coordinated European investment program.
  • The large socio-economic gain from the conversion of aviation to electric trains provides enough room for investment in infrastructure and operating support for the main routes, which will not initially be economically viable.
  • Restructuring of European passenger transport seems impossible without aviation paying for climate costs in the form of CO2 taxation. But timing for escalating taxation and strengthening trains can follow several different tracks. A long-term plan will give the industry something to relate to. Work should start now.
  • The changeover must take into account the comfort of the passengers. Travel times will be significantly increased from aircraft to train; it must be compensated through comfort and service.
  • The geography of Europe makes it possible for remote areas such as Scandinavia to include the night hours, which means that huge growth in night trains with different categories of service must be anticipated.

For more information, contact Back-on-Track, Denmark danmark@back-on-track.eu or call Poul Kattler, +4526177223

>> See the short presentation of the report from the Webinar 25.4. 2020

>> Find the full report here

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