The high-speed Eurostar trains linking London with Paris and Brussels will be carbon neutral from November, the company said April 17, claiming a world first. Train operator Eurostar also said it would reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 25% per traveler journey by 2012 as part of its bid to go green.
Eurostar, whose trains travel beneath the English Channel, said it would become "the world's first rail service, and the world's largest mass transport operator, to go carbon neutral" when it starts faster journeys from the new London terminal at Saint Pancras station on November 14. It plans to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by reducing the power consumption on its rolling stock, filling empty seats on each train and sourcing more electricity from lower-emission generators. The company is to invest in projects intended to compensate for its carbon dioxide emissions, without passing on the cost to travelers.
New controls will be put on lighting, heating and air conditioning. The amount of paper used will be reduced via electronic tickets and food, uniforms and even the water used to wash the trains will be recycled. The food on board will be sourced in Britain, France or Belgium.
"We don't have all the answers but we do know that a high-speed rail journey is 10 times greener than flying and that Eurostar can be greener still," said Eurostar chief executive Richard Brown. "It is time for the transport industry to do more to tackle climate change, instead of claiming that it makes a minimal contribution to global warming, or simply blaming other industry sectors."
Meanwhile Eurostar said that passenger numbers were up by 5.4% to 1.79 million in the first third of the year compared with the same period in 2006. Revenues were up by 13.2% to 142 million pounds (US$284 million) over the same period.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007