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Eurostar to cut carbon dioxide emissions

10/24/2009 AT 07:26

Eurostar, the provider of carbon neutral, high-speed rail journeys between the UK and mainland Europe, highlighted (22 September) the value of emissions cuts being made right now, on the day that the aviation industry promised to cuts emissions by 50% by 2050.

Eurostar's Head of Environment and Energy Louisa Bell said:

“While we welcome this move, there is no better time to remind travellers of the carbon dioxide savings that can be made today, simply by choosing train over plane.

“High-speed rail in the form of Eurostar achieves an immediate 90% cut in journey emissions, based on research which has shown that a Eurostar trip generates just 10% of the CO2 emissions of an equivalent flight. What's more, as governments pursue policies to decarbonise electricity supplies, the emissions from high-speed rail journeys will only further reduce.

“Whilst the aviation industry has made long-term promises to halve carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, consumers are already making much bigger cuts, simply by choosing to take the train.

“Across Europe, for high-speed journeys of up to four hours, typically more than half the market now prefers rail to air. For shorter trips, the market share of rail is significantly greater.”

Under its Tread Lightly environmental plan launched in April 2007, Eurostar has a target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions per traveller journey by 35% by 2012, compared with 2007.

The train operator has already achieved a 31% cut in journey emissions, largely through a switch to lower carbon sources of electricity along its routes, and without using offsetting in order to achieve its target.

Eurostar's policy is only to use offsetting where emissions cannot yet be eliminated. This is done in order to make all journeys carbon neutral, at no extra cost to passengers.

More widely across Europe, high-speed trains are already enabling travellers to make major reductions in journey emissions compared with the old alternative of flying. And with the size of Europe's high-speed rail network due to triple in the 15 years to 2020, passengers will be able to travel faster point-to-point by high-speed rail than by plane on nearly half of Europe's busiest air routes, according to a recent study by Boston Consulting Group*.

It conducted a survey of 13,000 pan-European distance travellers from 13 countries, which found that more than 30 percent would like to switch modes with the proportion in some countries as high as 65 percent.

Eurostar's 100 millionth traveller

Eurostar, the high-speed provider of carbon neutral journeys between the UK and the continent, today its 100 millionth traveller, David Kemp (aged 35) from Highgate in London. He was accompanied by his French wife Stéphanie and daughter, Mia (aged 2).

No booking fee for Eurostar

Eurostar, provider of high-speed, carbon neutral rail journeys between the UK and the Continent, will from 11 August scrap its £5 booking fee for all ticket reservations made through its UK-based call centre.

More than 200 British cities to mainland Europe

Eurostar, the provider of high-speed, carbon neutral rail journeys between the UK and the Continent, announced that it now offers fares from more than 200 towns and cities across Britain for high-speed rail travel to the continent.

Eurostar hails Print Anywhere ticketing a success

Eurostar, the provider of high-speed, carbon neutral rail journeys between the UK and the Continent, has seen a huge change in the way that people ticket their journeys with around 70% of its travellers taking advantage of the ‘Print Anywhere' service via the website, Eurostar.com.

Eurostar delivers strong leisure sales

Despite the recession, Eurostar reported a 4% rise in leisure sales against the same period in 2008, following a surge in inbound travel to the UK and a drive to encourage UK travellers to take full advantage of the increased availability of the lead-in £59 return fare.

Big increases in travellers from Germany

Eurostar is seeing large increases in travellers from Germany and The Netherlands. The increases are part of the continuing Europe-wide trend from plane to train for short-haul journeys, reflecting the continuing expansion of the European high-speed rail network.

Eurostar introduces single fares from just £35

Eurostar has introduced single fares to all its destinations. The new fares start from the wholly inclusive price of £35 for London to Paris/Brussels, and can be purchased without any airline-style extra charges.

Train punctuality reaches all time record high

Over 1.2bn passengers last year (April 2008 to March 2009) enjoyed the best train punctuality ever recorded on Britain's railways as 90.6% of train services arrived on time². The highest since records began almost 20 years ago (1992).

Eurostar's new "Leisure Select"

Eurostar, the high-speed passenger service that links the UK with the continent, today unveiled a new look and feel for the onboard branding of “Leisure Select” - its first class accommodation for leisure travellers.

Eurostar sales hit £168.1 million in Q1

Eurostar, the high-speed passenger train operator between Britain and mainland Europe, achieved sales of £168.1 million in the first three months of 2009, down 5.8% from £178.5 million for the same period last year. Traveller numbers totalled 1.92 million, down 11.5% on 2.17 million last time.

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