Planning your summer holiday getaway? Train travel and rail travel are very different modes of transport – we associate planes with travelling abroad and rail with travelling in one country.
Sure, you might have your heart set on going abroad – but that’s not to say you can’t travel from country to country via train as well.
While the train travel vs air travel debate ultimately depends on the sort of holiday you’re after, the environmental impacts of each might be enough to make you favour one travel method over the other.
In this blog post, we’ll compare train travel and air travel in terms of cost, convenience, environmental impact, and overall experience.
Which is better for the environment: train or plane?
2.5% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions come from aviation. The location, the number of passengers, the weather, and many other variables all affect how many emissions there are overall. If you want to save money as well as the environment, we advise you to book train tickets in advance.
Taking trains results in six times fewer GHG emissions overall than flying. The most energy-efficient trains are electric ones. Flights are worse for the environment than train travel. All things considered, train rides are better for the environment than flights.
As the distance increases, the benefits are slightly reduced. Shorter flights have higher pollution levels per passenger, while long train journeys often require passengers to sleep onboard. So, while train journeys are far greener than flights, long train journeys aren’t the most eco-friendly options in the world.
Which is cheaper and better value
While flights seem far more expensive than train journeys, you’d be surprised to learn that nowadays, many flights are the same price, if not cheaper than the cost of a train ticket in the UK. You can get cheap train tickets, but you can also get cheap plane tickets.
Flights from the UK to Spain can be as cheap as £30 in summer. The average price of a roundtrip ticket to Spain is £240. Cheaper flights might have less convenient times, and you will have to pay extra to take a suitcase on board, but flying can be inexpensive when you go about it the right way.
On the other hand, considering the cost of flights, which take you from one country to another, train tickets are not entirely cheap. For single bookings made on the day of travel, the UK has the most expensive railway tickets in Europe. That said, it is the second cheapest country for booking train tickets in advance, with an average of £29 a ticket (one way).
What’s the best option for travelling to several European countries?
If you’re going travelling and exploring a range of countries in Europe, is it best to keep hopping on a plane and dealing with the hassle of the airport, or should you stick to jumping on and off the train?
In Europe, trains are a quick and enjoyable alternative to flights, especially if you’re travelling to multiple locations. Rail fares can be inexpensive, and you get plenty of space onboard. It is far more convenient than travelling by plane.