Stay on Track to Help The Environment While Vacationing in Europe This Summer



    Trains Trump Planes and Automobiles as "Green" Travel Option (The Proof
    is in the Website of the US Environmental Protection Agency)

    UTRECHT, The Netherlands, June 26 /CNW/ - Last year people took more than
two billion journeys on scheduled airlines worldwide, up four percent over
2005, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization. IATA, the
International Air Transport Association, predicts another 500 million
passengers will take to the skies by 2010. With jet aircraft emitting
23 kilograms of CO2 per 100 passenger kilometers, that's a lot of carbon
dioxide being dumped into the atmosphere. Cars do somewhat better at a little
less than 18 kilograms, but trains outdo them both at under five kilograms of
CO2 per 100 passenger kilometers(1).
    Carbon dioxide emissions from cars and planes play a huge role in air
pollution and global warming. Indeed, a report from the US General Accounting
Office earlier this year affirmed their contribution to climate change and
warned that emissions of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases will increase as
commercial jet travel continues to grow worldwide. While people can't be
expected to stop flying, they can still make wise decisions to help reduce
their carbon footprint during vacation travel. In Europe, taking the train
instead of renting a car or jetting around on low cost airlines is a sure-fire
way to lessen the environmental impact of travel. Mr. Ian Byrne, Deputy
Director of the National Energy Foundation, based in the UK, agrees.
    "If you're concerned about contributing to global climate change",
advises Mr. Byrne, "remember that rail is always a better option than flying.
The carbon dioxide emissions from a return economy flight from Paris to
Berlin, for example, would allow a rail user to go from Paris to Berlin, then
on to Vienna, Venice, Rome and back to Paris - with enough left over for two
return trips from Paris to Amsterdam - so you could take a friend!"
    The Eurail network that covers most of Europe with its wide range of
flexible and affordable rail passes makes it easy to travel "green." The
average Eurail Global Pass Passenger, for example, travels more than 4,000
miles while using the pass. Trains covering that distance emit 0.3 tons of
CO2, while cars and planes put out more than a ton of CO2. Travelers can
calculate their personal emissions on the website of the US Environmental
Protection Agency at www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ind_calculator.html.
    Aside from the environmental benefits, taking the train can make the
journey as enjoyable as the destination. Europe's fast, sleek trains go
efficiently from downtown to downtown with a minimal use of land compared to
most US highway systems. Since there is little urban sprawl, passengers enjoy
a window seat on passing views of fairy tale castles, forested hillsides,
sleepy villages and bustling towns. What's more, trains rarely encounter
mechanical or weather delays, and none of the frequent congestion that can not
only stall traffic in the air and on the ground, but also further waste fuel
and increase greenhouse gases. It just makes sense to take the train whenever
possible.
    Eurail offers a range of flexible and affordable rail passes. The classic
Eurail Global Pass covers 18 countries and gives travelers the freedom to
travel as far as they want, when they want, as long as they want. For those
wanting to visit a handful of countries, the Eurail Select Pass can be
tailor-made to allow travel in any combination of 3, 4 or 5 countries,
provided they are linked by rail or shipping line. In response to the growing
trend for shorter vacations to fewer countries, Eurail has introduced Eurail
Regional Passes, valid in two bordering European countries and Eurail National
Passes, allowing the in-depth discovery of a single country by rail. In 2007,
Eurail introduced some exciting new destinations to the National Pass range
including Italy, Portugal and the Republic of Ireland.
    The EURAIL Group comprises 27 railways and shipping lines, as well as
several bonus partners. For more information about Eurail see
www.EurailGroup.com. To purchase, go to www.Eurail.com or one of Eurail's
authorized North American sales agents: ACP Rail International
(eurail-acprail.com); Flight Centre (flightcentre.com) and Rail Europe
(www.raileurope.com).

    Editor's Notes:

    Eurail Countries: Countries participating in the Eurail Pass offer are:
Austria (including Liechtenstein), Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic,
Denmark, Finland, France (including Monaco), Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy,
Luxembourg, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of
Ireland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Note:
participating countries vary per pass type.

    Images: High-resolution photographs of European trains may be downloaded
from Eurail's media library at http://eurail.informationstore.net/

    Technical note: The example given by the National Energy Foundation is
based on return CO2 emissions to Berlin estimated at 0.38 tons, before any
radiative forcing effect (which some authorities believe means that the
equivalent at ground level would be almost 3 times as much). The rail trip is
based on typical electric high-speed trains, without taking into account the
very low CO2 emissions associated with the nuclear industry in France.

    
    (1) "Railways and the Environment," by the Community of European Railway
        and Infrastructure Companies and the International Union of Railways,
        2004, http://www.cer.be.
    





For further information:

For further information: Mrs Ana Dias e Seixas, Marketing Manager,
Eurail Group G.I.E., Tel.: +31-(0)30-850-0125, a.diaseseixas@eurail.nl

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