Train journeys are very special to everyone as they can bring a bucket full of memories and joy. The lochs and hills, the sea view and the darkness of a tunnel, everything about train travel is fascinating. Such an experience may not be always possible via air or road.
Apart from the extra leg space and comfortable seats, trains are also one of the most eco-friendly commutes. Rails produce low pollution, least greenhouse effect, and are an affordable mode of transport. On the other hand, with continuous advancements, trains have become faster than ever before.
Undoubtedly, a private vehicle or aeroplane has quickened the pace of travelling. However, satisfying the daily commuting needs of millions of people is only possible through rail. Owing to the increasing population, travel needs of people, and rising environmental concerns, it won’t be wrong to say that railways are the sustainable future of the world. Let’s move further and talk about the competitiveness of rail in the long run.
What Makes Them a Sustainable Travel Option?
All across the world, trains are considered among the most efficient and sustainable modes of transport. There are many reasons to justify the same. Some of these include:
- The Efficiency and Accommodation of Trains
Railway supports the mass movement of thousands of people in one train. As for the cargo trains, millions of tonnes of freight loading are reported every financial year. No other transportation mode has the efficiency of carrying such a large number of passengers and freight in one go and at a low level of pollution.
To carry thousands of passengers, hundreds of cars will be required and hundreds of trucks for freight transportation. Merely imagining the greenhouse emissions of so many vehicles is scary! What’s more, even train booking is now a paper-free process. If you are planning a trip via train, let Redrail help you with booking your tickets.
- An Environment-friendly Mode of Transport
The environmental effects of motor vehicles have reached alarming levels. While the world is trying to bring down greenhouse emissions, control pollution, and promote environment-friendly alternatives, trains are definitely on the list. Compared to other motor vehicles and aviation engines, railways only contribute 2%-2.5% of greenhouse gas emissions. This is another reason why trains are synonymous with sustainable transport. All you get is fresh air and an amazing view.
- Sustainability in Durability
The average life of a four-wheeler is 7- 10 years, and that of freight vehicles like trucks is 10 – 20 years. In comparison, a train can sustain itself for decades. This is why the sustainability of trains lies in their durability as well.
One single train runs for years and years. This, in turn, means less wastage and pollution. On the other hand, the waste produced by road vehicles has become a major concern.
- Other Reasons that Make Trains So Popular
- Better Safety
Railways have their tracks, far off from the main city roads. Trains report comparatively far less mishaps as compared to those happening on the roads. Hence, not just sustainability, but railways also ensure better safety.
- Beats the Traffic
A train runs on its tracks, which are free from traffic. Unlike congestion of hundreds of vehicles on roads, trains do not have to worry about such traffic problems. Only under certain conditions, is a train delayed. This low-on-traffic feature of the train is the major reason why the train is safer and low on noise pollution, thus being a viable transport.
- Pocket-Friendly Fare
Travelling hundreds of kilometres via road consumes fuel worth over ₹8,000-₹10,000, and a flight may charge up to ₹5,000-₹8,000. On the other hand, a train journey may cost something between ₹300 and ₹2,500, depending on the selected seat and journey.
This is one of the many reasons why people prefer trains over any other mode of commutation. The viability of transport is only possible if it is also easy on the pocket of commoners.
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- Better Safety
What Makes Trains the Future of Sustainable Travel
The first ever train ran on 21st February 1804 in South Wales. Since then, railways have witnessed a range of modifications and advancements. It started off with steam energy, and now even electric trains are on their way. However, in the future, railways will continue to witness many technical advancements. Countries like Japan and China have introduced Monorails and are set to make trains driverless.
Advancements in railways have led to the introduction of high-speed trains that can cover about 500 km/hour. While such super trains are yet to reach many countries, at least the foundation has been laid for the coming future. Apart from this, various hybrid models of trains are on the way. Just like the four-wheelers, trains will also include fuel-electric engines that will have the capacity to run on both fuel and electricity.
Many companies and countries across the world have also proposed the use of alternate energy for running trains. These include energy generation through renewable resources like hydroelectric, wind, and solar energy. These are low on pollution and sustainable resources. India is also striving to create a strong network of metro trains in urban centres to make city commutation easier, cheaper, and greener.
The world over, trains are said to be the most environment-friendly mode of transport. Compared to cars and aeroplanes, trains have almost 70% less carbon emission. Trains are far more sustainable also because they consume less energy (per passenger), they use less space, and are low on noise and air pollution.
While only one-third of the world’s rail network is electrified, the advent of hybrid trains brings high hopes. What is also a positive shift is that governments in India, as well as abroad, are making efforts to promote train travel. Improved services, better facilities, and time-saving ultra-modern infrastructures are indeed to attract more passengers. When you choose a train journey rather than an aeroplane or your car, you do your bit to minimise the burden on our environment.
Let us make the most of trains and take initiatives that can benefit Mother Earth.