There is a false belief – at least in Europe – that goods vehicles are the main problem on roads. And yet, according to the British Department for Transport cars represent 86 – 87 % of road traffic. This was also confirmed by the Head of Logistics Studies at Edinburgh University three years ago. One can assume similar data applies all over Europe with only marginal differences.
Let’s imagine a Motorail train carrying 100 cars overnight over 1000 km: that’s the equivalent of 100,000 car/km.
At present the European average emissions of CO2 per car is 160g/km ec.europa.eu/environment/air/transport/co2/co2_home.ht
The amount of CO2 not emitted therefore would be: 16,000,000g, or 16,000 Kg,… or 16 Tons. (160gCO2/km x 100,000 km)
And that is just for one train, one night! In reality it would be higher than that since many people would otherwise fly (and hire a car, so there is no difference for the end journeys)
The data enclosed in;
http://www.campaigncc.org/Howdoesairtravel.doc gives more facts.
By reducing the number of cars on long distances on main roads and highways there are substantial, additional, benefits to be incorporated. Less motor cars mean:
Less fuel consumption, a cleaner environment and less chronic illnesses.
Less stress, less road accidents, hence lower social costs, even lower insurance premiums.
Increased traffic fluidity for goods vehicles, hence improving delivery times and savings for the economy
Lower infrastructure maintenance costs
Reducing the need for new infrastructure investments, hence less pressure on the environment
And, in Europe at least since all main lines are electrified generated, in the main by nuclear power, a negligible pollution from Motorail trains
Obviously Motorail services are not the panacea for eliminating all greenhouse gases and CO2 emissions. But it should help, bearing in mind that in UK, for example, around 28% of the country total energy is spent on transport… and about 22% of UK total energy used is by motor cars.
We thank Mr Jean Bernardi to whom this overview can be attributed. Mr Bernardi was formerly a French Railways Director and considered the ‘Father’ of Motorail as a commercial producr He is Internationally recognised and respected as the World’s greatest authority on Motorail and continues to advise as a Transport, Logistics and Tourism Consultant