Greener train trips

November 5, 2009 at 6:57 PM 2 comments

Congrats to Via Rail. Apparently VIA has cut fuel consumption by 25 per per passenger kilometre, and greenhouse gas emissions by 15 per cent since 1990. VIA is now working on equipment and operations upgrades in an effort to further reduce its ecological footprint. That’s good news! (OK, a high-speed electric rail line would be really good news!)

Too bad other train networks don’t have good news to share. Toronto’s new Go train network to Georgetown will likely be diesel instead of oh-so-21st century electric. (OK, many countries had electric trains well before the millennium.)  Actually, they’ll be a type of diesel that doesn’t even exist yet. For some reason it’s better to expect that new diesel technology (I know that’s not an oxymoron, but it sounds like it) to materialize than use tried-and-true electric trains. Don’t get me wrong. Metrolinx is going to study electric. Oh, and they’re going to monitor the air quality. Terrific! Or, they could just do the right thing in the first place, and bring in electrically powered trains with energy offset by Bullfrog power. That’d make a Go train that deserves to be painted green.

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Entry filed under: Planet-friendly travel. Tags: , , .

Guide to going greener at home Add a humidifier, add cosy comfort

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Marnie  |  November 12, 2009 at 7:33 PM

    Correct me if I’m wrong, aren’t the fastest trains in the world electric or hybrids?

    Reply
  • 2. ecologicjess  |  November 16, 2009 at 12:38 PM

    Absolutely, Marnie – if an electric train gets its power from a renewable source, such as wind or hydro, ta da, it’s a very low impact way to travel. I still hold out hope for better rail in Canada. It makes so much sense for so many reasons.

    Here’s a Walrus article on the topic:
    http://www.walrusmagazine.com/articles/2009.06–off-the-rails/

    Reply

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