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May 24, 2018  |  Login

Ride the train

Choose a train over a short flight or a long drive and limit carbon dioxide emissions.

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Next time you’re faced with the travel choice between planes, trains, and automobiles, consider the environmental implications of each.  The ways we travel are important environmental choices. 
Air travel is outrageously polluting.  A transatlantic flight for a family of four generates more carbon dioxide emissions than that family would otherwise create in a year. 
Depending on how many travelers your have with you, driving can be worse.  Travel and Leisure magazine found that with just one traveler on a 1,700 mile journey (using Paris to Rome as an example), a car would emit 720 pounds of carbon dioxide, whereas a flight of the same distance would produce 626 pounds. 
Travel and Leisure also factored in trains, however, and found their clear winner.  A train ride of the same trip would emit 78 pounds of carbon dioxide.  The reason for this is while planes and cars run on fuel, trains run on electric power, which is overall far less polluting.  Trains are also cheaper, less of a hassle, and overall a more convenient means of travel.  If you have the extra time, journeying by train can be fun and relaxing.  Forgo huge, hectic airports and bumper-to-bumper road traffic, and travel safely, comfortably, greenly, and cheaply by train.


Take Action / Next Steps
  • Try out Amtrak’s interactive Route Atlas to explore a map of the great variety of routes and train traveling options available.


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Did You Know?

Click below for more facts about this tip.



1.Sposato, Bree. [November 2007] “Carbon Emissions from Paris to Rome.” Travel and Leisure. Available from: [27 August 2008]

2.Robbins, Tom. [29 January 2006] “What is the real price of cheap air travel?” Available from: [27 August 2008]

3.Alter, Lloyd. [01 February 2006] “Air Travel and Climate Change: Take the Train.” Treehugger. Available from: [27 August 2008]

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