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Emissions from train travel

The calculator uses a figure of 100 g CO2 / mile.

This is based on an overall figure of 49 g/km i.e. 80 g / mile (or 0.080 kg / mile) - from the AEA Report [23]. This gives a range from 19 g/km to 71 g/km for intercity trains depending on route, engine type (diesel or electric) and passenger load (ranging from 44% to 68%).

Allowance is needed for the fossil fuel used in oil exploration and refining (which is overall around 85% efficient - see car sources page), and for train and track manufacture and maintenance. So the figure of 80 g / mile is adjusted to 100 g / mile.

Other estimates

g / kmg / mileSourceNotes
4980[AEA, 23]The most detailed source, and the one used as a basis
4980[CG, 10]Recommended by CG, summarising several sources
60100[NEF, 2]
60100[16]giving DEFRA as the original source
70110[ML, 6](underground)
80130[MH, 3](underground / metro)
100170[MH, 3](intercity)
110180[ML, 6](intercity)
160250[ML, 6](other)
160250[MH, 3](other)
original source; after conversion

So the factor used by the Carbon Independent calculator is in the middle of the range of published estimates.


See the Reference List

First published: 2007
Last updated: 12 Jul 2019