Enter a point of origin and a destination
Select the train type
With all this data, the CO2calculator will estimate the distance, fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of your train trip.
Trains are far from being the most polluting means of transport. And yet taking the train is not neutral.Thankfully the days of coal or fuel oil are long gone, but some trains still take a heavy toll on the environment.
High-speed rail links are 100% electric, so they have much lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and as they transport more passengers their per footprint passenger is lower still. Other rail links are much more likely to be diesel fueled, and so have a higher carbon footprint. In the UK 29% of the engine fleet runs on diesel. A passenger travelling one kilometre in the French high-speed TGV train has a carbon footprint of approx 2g - in part also because France’s electricity production is mostly nuclear-based. The same distance in a commercial airliner produces about 45 times more CO2.
Getting into a train does not mean having zero impact on the environment whatsoever - although if you must travel, go by train. Our travelling is a source of CO2 that planting trees will never be able to completely wipe away. That is why voluntary CO2 offsetting cannot be the only solution. We need to be aware that even travelling by rail is a source of CO2, for example, because of the construction of new rail lines or train engines. So let’s choose wisely, after all, we can live simply and happily.