10 March 2007
Save the planet: close down loss-making railway lines
Patrick Crozier

Notwithstanding the hornets’ nest that this week’s global warming documentary has stirred up, it occurs to me that if you follow the party line on all things global warmy then don’t you also have to look forward to the closure of loss-making railway lines?

Let me explain.  The basis on which we get warm, fuzzy feelings about railways is that they’re supposed to produce much less CO2 for each passenger moved.

True.  But only if there are lots of passengers on the train.  If you have a train with only a few passengers - and therefore the sort of service that is going to be making a loss - then efficiency goes right down.  Probably - I am far from sure of the numbers here - to way below the level you’d get from just a normal, family car.

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