Whether you are blitzing across Europe, or grinding through the daily commute, traveling by train has become an integral part of industrial development. This mode of transport has been around for over two centuries and has served as the fabric of many countries’ transportation systems. We explore the top ten benefits of rail transport, and how it continues to boost the growth of our civilization.
Compared to other modes of transport, it is cheaper to transport goods and passengers via train than by car or plane. Thailand’s train network, for example, is known as one of the most affordable modes of transport in the world, according to Fleet Logging’s latest index: good to know if you’re planning your next adventure!
2. Environmentally friendly
Rail transport is one of the most environmentally friendly forms of travel, as trains emit fewer greenhouse gases than their land and air counterparts, thereby encouraging greater green efficiency.
3. High carrying capacity
Trains have a higher carrying capacity, enabling more cargo to be carried at one time. This results in lower transportation costs.
Rail transport is known for its reliability. Trains operate on a fixed schedule to ensure goods or passengers arrive on time.
When the network is engineered thoroughly, rail travel is less likely to involve accidents than road travel, making it one of the safest modes of transport currently available. In South Africa, the Gautrain was built using the highest standards and modern technologies available, and included the installation of 650 closed circuit television cameras on trains and station precincts.
6. Reduced traffic congestion
One of the biggest cons to living in a city is traffic congestion. However, train transport can positively impact congestion by ensuring fewer cars are on the roads. This has a further knock-on effect of enabling travelers to reach their destination on time too.
Regardless of whether your journey is 20 minutes or two hours, train networks boast the capability to connect communities.
Rail transport is one of the most energy-efficient modes of transportation, as trains consume less energy per ton-mile than trucks or planes. In terms of logistics and cargo transportation, a train’s impact on the environment is more minimal than other modes.
9. Job creation
Designing and building a train takes an extensive network of industries: manufacturing, engineering and logistics, to name a few. To build the HS2 railway in England, it is estimated that at least 34,000 people will be needed to complete the contract, thereby helping to boost the local economy.
10. Reduced carbon footprint
According to Our World in Data, transport accounts for around one-fifth of global carbon dioxide emissions. However, taking a train instead of a car for medium-length distances would help cut individual emissions by 80 percent, making it a more sustainable option.
From what we’ve learnt, rail transport can be a cost-effective, environmentally friendly, reliable, and safe mode of transportation with myriad benefits. Its high carrying capacity, flexibility, energy efficiency, and job creation potential means that the opportunity for cities and outlying communities to become integrated is possible. As rail networks continue to be an essential part of both the local and global transport system, they will significantly contribute to reducing traffic congestion and the carbon footprint of the transportation industry, making it a more sustainable option for the future.