Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

High speed rail: bad for environment?

High speed rail has been dismissed by government because it is bad for the environment, it emerged this week.

Rail minister Tom Harris said that Britain did not need faster trains that would consume more energy but should instead focus on reducing congestion and reliability on the existing network.

"The argument that high speed rail is a green option does not necessarily stand up to close inspection," said Harris, in a letter to Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies.

"Increasing the maximum speed from 200km/h to 350km/h leads to a 90% increase in energy consumption. In exchange, it cuts station-to-station journey times by less than 25% and door-to-door journey times by even less."

Harris' claim was rubbished by Campaign for Better Transport executive director Stephen Joseph.

"I think the claim about increased energy consumption is oversold," he told NCE. "It's based on a study made some time ago on a theoretical level."

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.