Trains, a brilliant solution for the 21st century


japan-rail-cinderella-express-poster-detailIt seems that trains and other mass transit systems have a bright future in front of them. As climate change and energy scarcity increase, alternatives to cars and planes are sought.

What if a new generation of trains could help in solving both problems ? TreeHugger dedicated lately a certain amount of articles to such solutions and this post sums up their discoveries.

I always liked trains, and have been using them extensively in 2008. It seems that it will only increase and I can but rejoice of that.

In a brilliant post called 5 High Speed Trains that are Changing the Face of Rail the famous environmental blog provides data on how current technologies make trains faster, more reliable, more efficient and thus better.

Among them are the Japanese efSET with a top speed of 217 mph (350 kph), the French AGV which goes as fast as its Japanese counterpart, but brings over 20 % efficiency improvement when compared to current French TGV (see there for more about the AGV).

The Eurostar is also a model of speed and carbon neutrality as it is 90 % less emitting than the equivalent trip by plane and pledged to go even more efficient in the next years.

Besides passenger traveling, freight is also increasing, but this time in China. The country indeed bought recently 300 new locomotives that are much more efficient than previous ones.

Please check out the full article to learn out more on these issues and trains.

Communication and advertising are critical to convert people to such solutions. In this, Japan is a model as these two posts prove: Making Trains Fun, Sexy, And Romantic in Japan and Promoting Train Travel In Japan.

As an example, Cinderella Express, above brings a futuristic approach of trains.

But trains aren’t the only solutions to become widespread. Mass transit systems and buses are also coming back with a revenge.

Indeed, many cities from New York to Beijing and Istanbul and from Mexico Ciudad to Milano are increasingly using such solutions. Bikes also become more and more used.

As an example, the Big Apple increased bike ridership by 35 % in 2008 alone by creating 140 mile (approx 220 kilometers) of on-street bike lanes

For more on these topics, please read the full article.

And you, do you like trains ? Do you see them as a solution ?

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