Forget the plane, take the train

UK initiative to replace short-haul flights with trains

By Reuters on 06 August 2009 in News

A British initiative aims to replace short-haul plane journeys with high-speed rail travel and plans for such a network are well advanced, Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis told the Guardian newspaper.

"For reasons of carbon reduction and wider environmental benefits, it is manifestly in the public interest that we systematically replace short-haul aviation with high-speed rail," -- UK Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis.

The paper said in its Wednesday edition that the government plans to publish by the end of the year a route from London to Birmingham, which could be funded with a public-private partnership and which could be extended to Scotland.

There are also plans to run high-speed trains on the existing network, which could reduce journey times from London to Scotland to three and a half hours, the paper added.

"For reasons of carbon reduction and wider environmental benefits, it is manifestly in the public interest that we systematically replace short-haul aviation with high-speed rail," Adonis told the paper.

"But we would have to have, of course, the high-speed network before we can do it."

He added he would like to see high-speed rail replace both domestic and European flights.

Last month the government unveiled plans to spend GBP1.1 billion pounds (USD$1.86 billion) to electrify more of its rail network, reducing journey times between London and Swansea, Liverpool and Manchester.

 

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