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Travelling by train

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Where traveling by air can provide a bird’s eye view, travelling by rail shows you the character of a country. Our trips are designed to immerse you within the heart of a country and your arrival need not be any different.
 
There is a clear downside to exploring the earth’s treasures. The environmental impact of the travel industry is significant, with estimates sitting around 8% of all carbon emitted globally. We recognise this, as do our customers, and we are working hard to make practical changes.
 
Until the point that we can book your trains as we would flights, we want to be able to provide you with more information about rail travel, and how you could go about booking your own trains if you wish.

 

Why travel by rail?

 
  1. The environment
An average journey to Paris can emit 15kg of carbon dioxide by rail. This compares with 48kg in a car. Travelling by air would emit 122kg. This doesn’t take in to additional emissions such as those from energy resource consumption or nitrogen oxides. There is a significant environmental difference between air travel and rail (information extracted from ecopassenger.org if you would like to make comparisons on your own journey).
 
  1. The speed and pace of your journey
When comparing journey times for train and flight, we must take in to account the journeys to our start points, the time taken to check in, arriving two or three hours early, security checks as well as the transfer times at the end destination. Often a seemingly simple two hour flight requires a full day of travelling.
 
  1. The comfort
Trains allow a greater level of comfort on longer journeys, with opportunity to roam, enjoying food and drink whilst enjoying the scenery through the window. For these reasons travelling by train can also a great option for families.
 

Where can I find more information about journey routes, times and prices?

 
If you are looking at European train travel then both Rail Europe and thetrainline provide good starting points, with interactive maps, suggested routes, timetables and prices. Man in Seat Sixty-One is another great resource which covers some of the superb routes in Europe and worldwide.
 
 
Despite these reasons to jump on a train, we also appreciate trains can be expensive and some operators only release their tickets a few weeks before departure (unlike flights which can be twelve months in advance). We hope these discrepancies between air and rail diminish over time as the demand shifts for more sustainable options for travel. Until that time, compromises could include choosing to fly one way, and train the other. Taking one main holiday a year for longer, and more meaningfully, rather than numerous shorter trips.
 
We know that as an industry we need to reduce our carbon by 50% in the next ten years, so we are working hard to make appropriate changes on our trips, and encourage our customers to join us on this journey to sustainability by opting for rail where practical.  
 
If you have any suggestions then please email sustainability@explore.co.uk.

 

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