Rail industry says shorter trains are the answer

by GreenWire.org.uk. Published Sat 30 May 2009 23:22
The rail industry wants to put an end to empty carriages

A rail industry manifesto published this week has called for off-peak trains to ditch some of their carriages in an effort to cut CO2 emissions and costs.

The planning document, produced by Network Rail and the Association of Train Operating Companies, argues that running shorter trains at quiet times could help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent by 2010. It also suggests that powering all-but empty carriages outside rush hours is damaging to rail travel’s green credentials, when the industry is keen to reinforce its reputation as an environmentally friendly choice.

Network Rail said: “It’s about matching supply to demand and not transporting carriages full of air around the country.”

The move would also help bring down costs at a time when fewer passengers are travelling due to the recession. Dropping carriages is an idea that has been put forward by struggling train operators, but so far rejected by Ministers.

The proposal in this latest manifesto comes despite predictions that new railway lines will be needed in the South East to cope with growing passenger numbers in urban areas.

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