If one considers the ecological footprint of travel, then rail travel is believed to be the cleanest way to travel. While higher petrol prices and a tax on airline tickets have been decided in Switzerland by the new CO2 law, the railway faction continues to enjoy great sympathy. Andreas Herrmann and Klaus Radermacher examine the question of whether the perceived reality that train is the most climate-neutral mode of travelling also corresponds to the objective reality? They calculate the CO2 emissions of cars, trains and planes on the popular route from Zurich to Milan and open our eyes to the surprising truth.
Rail is considered the most environmentally friendly means of transport. But on closer inspection, it becomes clear that this impression does not go far enough. Andreas Herrmann and Klaus Radermacher compare the CO2 emissions of cars, trains and planes on the popular route from Zurich to Milan. In doing so, they don not just look at the emissions during the journey, as is usually the case, but also at the energy used to build the means of transport and the entire infrastructure (roads, railways, airports, etc.). In the BILANZ article you can learn more about how Andreas Herrmann and Klaus Radermacher examine the issue and what surprising results they come up with.
With their result they do not plead for a certain means of transport and they do not want it to be understood as Railway Bashing. Rather, they are committed to contributing to the debate in the tension between climate and mobility with a holistic consideration of costs. Despite the enormous costs, the construction of tunnels is still seen as climate friendly rather than a climate sin. Switzerland is even providing two expensive tunnel systems: road and rail. Andreas Herrmann and Klaus Radermacher emphasise: “The ideological conflict between rail and road must be overcome in the interests of the environment and costs.”
Read the whole article (in german) here.
In: Balance sheet 07/2020