Ten good reasons for rail transport
The railways are electrically powered Countries that import oil and gas are economically dependent and can be put under political pressure. In the EU, the transport sector accounts for over 70 percent of oil consumption. Electrified rail transport has been a reality for a long time: almost 90 percent of the railways’ transport performance is electrically powered.
The railways make a positive contribution to climate protection Railway transport is around three times more energy efficient than rubber tires on asphalt. Because CO2 emissions, energy consumption and the energy source are related, the railways make an active contribution towards climate protection. Passenger trains emit only about half the amount of C02 as cars, while rail freight emits four and a half times less than trucks.
The railways are essential for freight transport As one of central Europe’s main transit countries, Germany profits from its high-performance rail freight transport system. Today, around 70 percent of long-distance container transport to and from the Port of Hamburg is already by rail. The road network by itself would be completely overwhelmed.
The railways are an important job motor When it comes to economic performance, the German rail supply industry is a world leader. Rail technology made in Germany is recognised world-wide as a sign of quality. Taken together with the rail transport companies, the rail sector is one of biggest investors and most important employers in Germany. The sector employs around 600,000 people.
The railways are an important location factor For around 70 percent of German managers, good access to public transport is an important factor for locating their company. And because the railways are around three times more energy efficient, every increase in the cost of energy makes the location factor even more important because getting to work by public transport remains affordable for the employees.
The railways have the best safety record Right across Europe, travelling by train is safer than by car. The risk of being killed in a car accident is 55 times higher than in a train accident, and the risk of being injured is 105 times higher. The safety record of the railways is another major benefit for society. In addition, freight transport by rail is also much safer than by road.
The railways save society external transport costs Although the external, hidden costs of transport are caused by those using using the transport system, it is the taxpayers, health insurers and our children and grandchildren that have to cover these costs. Of the 80 billion euros in external transport costs, road transport accounts for 77 billion euros and the railways for 2.5 billion euros.
The railways contribute to the health of the nation Academic research in the USA has demonstrated that people using public transport are considerably more active than people who travel to work by car. And when it comes to dangerous emissions, the railways already have a health advantage over all other forms of transport.
The railway use up less space Worldwide, metropolitan areas are expanding and towns and regions are merging. The railways are a perfect solution because they cover the increasing transport requirements of urban citizens and help to prevent transport chaos in metropolitan areas. This is why urban planners are focussing on rail transport in an increasing number of towns and cities.
The railways contribute to improving quality of life Good local train connections mean freedom of choice when it comes to transport. It is not without reason that improvements to local transport lead to property prices increases. Being able to reach schools, leisure facilities or shops by train is an important factor for day-to-day mobility and independence.