Carbon Footprint of Train Travel

22 gm Co2e per passenger kilometer

Source1: “Heat” by George Mombiot , (Penguin 2006) (He gives other references)

p146. Quotes a parliamentary answer for Co2 from different modes of travel

from London to Manchester for each passenger

Train 5.2 Kgs Co2 (70% full


“Travelling from London to Manchester, a distance of 181 miles (290km), should
be straightforward but often it is not. “

The above can be use to give values for Co2 per passenger kilometer

Train 18 gm Co2

This seems optimistic for trains .. Richard to investigate.


Answers in kg co2

1000 Mj Electricity – 119
1000 Mj Gas – 53
1000 litres oil – 2690
1000 litres lpg – 1490
1000 kg coal – 2548

1000 km rail – 25 kg co2

The BP Carbon Calculator:

Using the carbon calculator it is possible to put in figures to show the underlying assumptions. The calculator modifies the results according to the country chosen.

Train travel (France, Uk) assumes 40gm CO2 per passenger-kilometer
Train travel (Australia, USA) assumes 120gm CO2 per passenger-kilometer