I know that you endlessly hear about how trains are part of the solution to the transport and environmental problems we are facing in the western world.
I can certainly agree that we can’t fit many more cars on the existing road networks in the UK and Ireland, but with regards to saving the environment, are they actually any less harmful than cars or motorbikes?
Looking at the handy CO2 calculator at :-
It seems if I am taking my small family with me in my small car, then CO2 emissions are actually substantially less than they would be by train.
However…. As pointed out in their FAQs –
…In absolute terms of reducing CO2 it is always better to use a scheduled public transport service. This is because when you use a car the result is an extra journey is made and extra CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere. On the other hand, when you use public transport journey by bus, coach, plane or train the journey is always scheduled and would take place whether or not you travelled. So in real terms there is no additional CO2 emitted.
If there are loads of half empty trains making scheduled journeys anyway, and you take these, then you are not adding (at least not worth talking about) to the overall CO2 emissions.
So there you are.
If you can take a scheduled train, then do so.
If you have a choice between a small car and chartering a train for yourself – then choose the small car