|Environmental problems are becoming more and more severe and the greenhouse effect is endangering our existence. Traffic makes a substantial contribution, especially road and air traffic, which moreover is undergoing rapid growth. According to forecasts from the Swedish Institute for Transport and Communications Analysis (1999), if nothing is done, heavy traffic in Sweden will increase by about 40-60% up to 2010. Added to this is the fact that road traffic will cause more fatalities and personal injuries than other kinds of traffic.
High-speed trains are fast, safe and reliable. In Japan, where high-speed trains have been in operation since 1964, there have thus far been no injuries or deaths caused by the trains and the average delay is just 24 seconds. Furthermore, modern high-speed trains consume less energy than the old, slower trains.High-speed technology will effectively move traffic from roads and air, to the considerably more environmentally friendly train. On a journey between Stockholm and Helsingborg, a diesel bus emits approximately 12 kg of carbon dioxide per person (a gas which contributes to the greenhouse effect). Private cars produce, with the same conditions, about 107 kg and flying about 50 kg. For the train the equivalent figure is 0.0 kg. During a trip between Stockholm and Göteborg the carbon dioxide emissions from the train are equivalent to 3 millilitres of petrol (0.003 litres). For a car the figure is 35 litres.*It has been calculated that in the European Corridor region, new systems thinking will enable carbon dioxide emissions from traffic to decrease by about 270,000 tonnes/year by 2010, despite the fact that total traffic performance will increase substantially. Passenger traffic on the European Line/Götaland Line would thereby remove a total of 17% of the increase in carbon dioxide emissions by traffic which took place between 1990 and 1998. The positive environmental impact on freight traffic has not been calculated, but is estimated to be at least as great.
*/The data derives from Swedish State Railway’s website, www.sj.se where you can do an environmental analysis of your own travel.
Reductions in the annual amount of energy required by traffic, and the air pollution it creates, due to transfer of passenger traffic from air, car and bus when the European Line/Götaland Line is extended in 2010, excl freight traffic in the region.
Cross-section: A modern railway is only 15 m wide. Noise barriers increase the width
Road and railway can be located close together. The illustration shows the Rail Authority’s (Banestyrelsen )study from 1998 of how close the railway can be to the motorway south of Copenhagen. In the new Öresund connection, railway and road are positioned closer than this in both Sweden and Denmark.