By the end of this year I will have taken 10 ‘long’ train trips. I have defined long trips to be those that are possible to fly with non-charter aircraft (often not so long). Unlike 2015, I didn’t take any other means of slow travel.
The trips look like this:
This is the equivalent of 6500 km of ground transport, and equates to over 4000 km of saved air travel (the straight line distance from Oslo to Tehran – that would have been an interesting train journey!).
Another way to put this is in relation to the most passenger rail friendly country in Europe: Switzerland. Here, the average distance travelled by rail each year is 2400km. So in 2015, I travelled 160% longer than the average Swiss person by rail.
The total amount of CO2 released from this travel is just over 100kg, or equivalent to a one way flight between London and Copenhagen. CO2 savings on the other hand, relative to the equivalent flights that could have been taken are over 1 tonne! Woohoo!
Average rail speed in Norway is not very high (there is no high speed rail network), so it can be a time-consuming way of avoiding CO2 emissions. But there are many night trains, which are a great way of combining two things at once. Three of the journeys, along the stretch between Trondheim and Oslo have been/will be taken this way. The journey time is stretched out a little compared to the daytime trains (to around 8 hours), to ensure that passengers between the two end stations get their 40 winks.
If you understand Norwegian, then I recommend watching an interesting TV series Live Redder Verden Litt that NRK has produced regarding reducing personal carbon footprint (through travel amongst many many other initiatives like dumpster diving and cutting meat consumption).