Following up from our previous post around ways to make your travel sustainable within a budget, our latest blog post takes a look at travel by trains. In fact over the last weekend, we attended a very popular event hosted by Tågsemester.nu, a growing Swedish portal for train travel holidays.
A look at the table below pegging train travel against air travel shows the obvious advantage of the former when it comes to sustainable travel. For example, a train trip between Zurich, Switzerland and Milan, Italy, is nearly 30 times efficient vis-a-vis an air trip when it comes to CO2 emissions.
Naysayers may step in here saying “Well, but I save a whole load of hours when it comes to train travel”. A typical train trip between Zurich and Milan is around 3 hours and 41 minutes. A flight between the two destinations is 55 minutes. That is quite a difference.
But. Add in the pre-departure airport arrival time requirements, time in the post arrival baggage collection and other formalities, the typical location of airports from the city centers. This time difference may narrow down a bit. Definitely, worth the environment!
And with High Speed Rail (HSR) coming in, new train lines having speeds in excess of 250 kilometers per hour (km/h), or 160 miles per hour (mph). China, leading the way here, has 26,869 kms of HSR in place (Beijing-Shanghai HSR pictured below). The US with only 54 kms in place has 1710 approved for construction. And this is a growing phenomenon across the world.
And then there’s the advantage of,
Comfort – Generally a lot more comfortable than the economy class on flights
Convenience – Step out and you may well walk out in the busiest street of the city. Infact most city centers lie around the central stations
Scenic – The view from the window’s a lot more colorful than from the air
Cheaper – Typically may end up costing a lot lesser
Ofcourse, there’s no denying that you can’t really avoid air travel completely. It still has a whole load of advantages depending on the purpose of your travel. Yet, if it’s slow travel that you seek, with a focus on the eco-footprint that you leave behind, try accommodating a rail journey whereever possible on your next trip.