Transportation and environmental heresy

It turns out that cars may be more fuel efficient than trains (link via Marginal Revolution).

    Challenging assumptions about railways’ green superiority, the study finds that the weight and fuel requirements of trains have increased to the point where rail could become the least energy-efficient form of transport.


    Engineers at Lancaster University said trains had failed to keep up with the motor and aviation industries in reducing fuel needs.


    They calculate that expresses between London and Edinburgh consume slightly more fuel per seat (the equivalent of 11.5 litres) than a modern diesel-powered car making the same journey.


    The car’s superiority rises dramatically when compared with trains travelling at up to 215mph.

Here’s the money quote:

    “I know this will generate howls of protest, but at present a family of four going by car is about as environmentally friendly as you can get.”

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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