Rail transport and environment. Facts and figures. Edition 2008.


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Published 01 January 2008
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Rail Transport and Environment
FacT s & FiguREs
November 20081
Table of c ontents
F or ewor d 2
Climate change and CO emissions 32
Ener gy efficiency 8
Electricity mix 12
Land take 15
Local air pollution 17
Noise emissions 21
Subsidies and external costs 25
E ur opean tr anspor t : cor e statistics 28
Glossary 32
R efer ences 36
Tr anspor t pr esents r eal challenges as society tries to ensur e a
mor e envir onmentally sustainable futur e It is the only sector in the E U
in which gr eenhouse gas emissions hav e consistently risen since 1990,
and curr ent tr anspor t patterns ar e clearly unsustainable As w ell as
contributing to climate change, the gr o wth in congestion on our r oads,
accidents, air pollution, and noise pollution of tr anspor t all lead to
substantial costs that ar e borne b y people, business, and society
In or der to make long term decisions on the futur e of tr anspor t,
it is impor tant that ther e is accur ate data to consult Using a variety
of sour ces, this booklet has been compiled jointly b y the Community
of E ur opean R ailway and Infr astructur e Companies (CE R) and the
International Union of R ailways (U IC) to pr esent the statistical and
factual evidence on the impact of the differ ent tr anspor t modes We
believ e it sho ws that the envir onmental case for r ail is compelling
We hope it will be of use to policy makers, r esear chers, and any one
else with an inter est in the envir onmental impact of tr anspor t

Johannes Ludewig Luc Aliadier e
CE R E x ecutiv e Dir ector U IC Chief E x ecutiv e
c limate change
and cO emissions 2
★ T ravelling by rail is on average 3-10 times
less c O2 intensive compared to road
or air transport
★ With 7-10% of market share, rail still
contributes less than 2% of the Eu
transport sector’s cO2 emissions
★ The rail sector has committed itself to cut
the specific emissions of rail transport
by 30% over the period 1990-2020
global warming and greenhouse gases (gHg)
In its latest assessment r epor t (A R4) in Nov ember 2007, the
Inter gov ernmental P anel on Climate Change (I PCC) said that warming
of the climate system “is unequiv ocal” Global gr eenhouse gas (G HG)
emissions due to human activities hav e gr o wn since pr e-industrial
times, with an incr ease of 70% betw een 1970 and 2004 alone This
dev elopment has led to clear changes in temper atur es and av er age
sea lev el compar ed to the standar d period used (1961-1990), as sho wn
in the gr aph belo w
An additional temper atur e rise of betw een 1°C and 4°C is
pr ojected betw een 2000-2100, depending on the lev el of stabilisation
of G HG emissions CO is the major gr eenhouse gas contributing to2
global warming and climate change; it is emitted b y both natur al and
anthr opogenic sour ces The Ky oto P r otocol r egulates fiv e G HGs beside
carbon dio xide: methane (CH ), nitr ous o xide (N O), hy dr ofluor o -4 2
carbons (H FCs ), perfuorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafuoride (SF )6
4 Climate change and CO emissions2
Figure 1: Global warming and greenhouse gasses (GRG)
Global average surface temperatureerature0.5 14.50.5 14.5
0.0 14.0
– 0.5 13.5
1850 1900 1950 2000
(mm) Global average sea level50
Source: IPCC, AR4 report, November 2007–150ce: IPCC, AR4 report, November 2007
1850 1900 1950 20001850 1900 1950 2000
Source: IPCC report (AR4), November 2007
In Mar ch 2007, the E ur opean heads of state agr eed to set pr ecise,
legally binding tar gets in a mov e to r educe E ur ope-wide emissions b y
20% ov er the 1990-2020 period and keep ov er all warming belo w the
widely accepted 2 degr ees “thr eshold” The E ur opean Commission put
forwar d legislation on achieving this in January 2008
Eu transport sector today
Tr anspor t causes ar ound one quar ter of all E U CO emissions 2
B et w ee n 1 99 0 a nd 2 00 5 , E U- 15 G HG e mi s si on s f r o m d om es ti c
tr anspor t (journeys inside E U only) incr eased b y 26% Mor e than 90%
of total domestic tr anspor t emissions ar e due to r oad tr anspor t R ail
only accounts for 0 6% for diesel emissions and for less than 2%
including emissions for electricity pr oduction

Temper aturatur e (°C)Figure 02 : EU transport sector today
5Climate change and CO emissions2
Other (pipeline) Sea and
10 (0.8%)Inland
953 (21%) Road TransportTransport 183 (14.5%)
896 (71.2%)1247 (27%)
150 (11.9%)
1562 (34%)
478 (11%)
29 (0.6%)
Services CO emissions 2005 in EU27 by sector and 2
285 (6.3%) transport mode (million tonnes).
Source: EC 2007 and UIC Energy / CO database2
Eu transport sector tomorrowCO2 emissions 2005 in EU27 by sector and transport mode (million tonnes)
Source: EC 2007
Despite multiple initiativ es the tr anspor t sector is pr ojected to
r emain the fastest gr o wing sector when it comes to CO emissions At2
the U N meeting (the so-called Confer ence of the P ar ties, “COP13 ”) in
Bali (December 2007), the United Nations F r amework Conv ention onFigure 03: Projected change from base year to 2010,
Climate Change (U N FCCC) confirmed that total CO emission r eduction2with existing measures
tar gets cannot be met without limiting tr anspor t emissions
Energy excl. transport -3 %
Transport 25 %
Industrial processes -12 %
Agriculture -14 %
Waste -47 %
Projected changes in EU15 GHG emissions from 1990
to 2010 with existing policy measures.
Source: EEA 2007a
Projected changes in EU15 GHG emissions from 1990 to 2010 with existing policy measures (Source: EEA 2007)

20 (1.6%)Year
6 Climate change and CO emissions2
Rail c O performance2
F r om 1990 to 2005 the E ur opean r ailways cut their CO emissions2
b y 21% in absolute terms F or specific emissions (i e emissions per
passenger-km or tonne-km) during the same period, the r ailways
r educed their CO emissions per passenger-km b y 14%, and per2
tonne-km b y 28% In May 2008, the members of CE R agr eed to a tar get
of an av er age sector-wide cut of 30% in specific emissions ov er the
1990-2020 period The table belo w sho ws the differ ence betw een 1990
and 2005 for r ail tr anspor t passenger and fr eight
Average European specific railway CO
average European specific railway cO performance 1990-200522 performance 1990-2005
40Average European specific railway CO
2 performance 1990-2005 3530
25 Specific emissions – passenger20
56 g/pkm50
1047 Specific emissions – freight40
35 1990 1990 2005 200530
25 Specific emissions – passenger20
Specific emissions – freight
1990 1990 2005 2005
Source: UIC energy / CO database2
Freight transport c O comparison 2
The table belo w compar es the total C O emissions fr om2
tr anspor ting 100 tons of av er age goods fr om Basel, S witz erland to the
por t of R otter dam, Netherlands CO emissions fr om r ail ar e almost2
8 times less than lorries and 4 times less than inland waterways
( wwwecotr ansit or g )

g/pkm (passenger)
gCO /tkm (freight)
g/pkm (passenger)
gCO /tkm (freight)
27Climate change and CO emissions2Figure 05• Carbon dioxide
(100 tons cargo, Basel - Rotterdam, 700 km)
carbon dioxide (100 tons cargo, Basel - Rotterdam, 700 km)
4.5 4.7
Lorry Train Inland
EURO4 waterway
Source: wwwecotr ansit or g 2008
Source: www.ecotransit.org 2008
Passenger transport c O comparison2
F or passenger tr anspor t, going b y r ail is on av er age 4 times mor e
efficient than taking the car and mor e than 3 times better than taking
the plane The table belo w compar es the total CO emissions fr om2
tr anspor ting 1 passenger betw een Berlin and F r ankfur t city centr es inFigure 06 • Carbon dioxide
Germany (1 person Berlin – Frankfurt, 545 km)
carbon dioxide (1 person Berlin - Frankfurt, 545 km)
80 85
20 26
Car Train Plane
Note: Plane emissions include travel to and from the airport; they are not
increased to take account of the effect of emissions at high altitude. Source: www.ecotransit.org 2008
Source: wwwecopassenger or g 2008

Kg CO2
Tons CO
Energy efficiency
★ Rail is on average 2 - 5 times more energy
efficient than road, shipping and aviation
★ Through approaches including eco-driving,
use of new rolling stock, and operational
measures, railways continue to improve
Eu transport sector today
Since 1970, tr anspor t activity has mor e than doubled in the
E ur opean Union: +185% for the tr anspor t of goods and +145% for
the tr anspor t of people In the E U, the final ener gy consumption
of the tr anspor t sector equals to 31% of the total E ur opean wide
Figure 02 : EU transport sector today
consumption R ailways’ shar e of tr t ener gy consumption is
less than 3%, while its market shar e is betw een 6% (passenger) and
10% (fr eight)
Inland Waterways
5 (1.4%)Railways
9 (2.5%)
Industry Road TransportAviation
328 (28%) Transport 297 (82%)50 (14%)
362 (31%)
services, etc.
Final energy consumption 2005 in EU27
481 (41%)
by sector and transport mode
(million tonnes oil equivalent)
Source: DG TREN 2007

CO2 emissions 2005 in EU27 by sector and transport mode (million tonnes)
Source: EC 2007