Simplified booking systems, more comfortable trains, shorter travel times and more direct route can make 20-30% of Swedish air travelers switch to night trains when they are going to the continent.

To reduce the climate impact of our travel we need technical development but also changes in our behaviors. One such change could be to replace air travel with more climate-smart travel, where trains are the best option available today. Jörgen Larsson and Jonas Nässén, researchers at Chalmers, have conducted a study to see what proportion of Swedish air travelers would consider replacing air travel with night trains when they are going to central and southern Europe.

Time, money and convenience
The most important factors in the choice of means of transport for a longer trip are the price, travel time, number of changes and how easy it is to book.
– Politicians at the national level could use this research as a basis for including international train traffic in national transport and climate policy, says Jörgen Larsson. Another actor is the Swedish Transport Administration, which works with these issues. In addition, train companies such as SJ and Snälltåget can use the results as a basis for their strategic work.

Technical development in aviation
Even if the trains were to meet the passengers’ criteria, it is not enough.
– It becomes clear that even if more people take the train instead of the plane in the future, it is not at all enough to reduce long-distance travel emissions in line with the Paris Agreement – technical changes in aviation are also needed, says Jörgen Larsson.

Link to the article:
Read the whole article in the journal “Understanding preferences for night trains and their potential to replace flights in Europe. The case of Sweden

Riccardo Curtale 
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