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MÁV-Start seeks up to 50 battery-electric trainsets

HUNGARY: National passenger operator MÁV-Start has called tenders for an initial 20 bi-mode multiple-units with an option for 30 more. The trains will have to be able to operate in 25 kV 50 Hz electric mode and be capable of using battery power for up to 80 km at a speed of 100 km/h.

The winning bidder will be expected to supply 20 trainsets with 200 seats; the optional 30 sets would have 150 seats. The tender stipulates that if the options are exercise, at least five trains would be ordered.

Of the initial batch of 20, the operator intends to use 10 on the Budapest – Balatonfüred – Tapolca route, serving the popular tourist region around the northern shore of Lake Balaton. The route is currently undergoing electrification between Székesfehérvár and Balatonfüred.

MÁV-Start envisages using the other 10 trainsets on the Budapest – Lajosmizse suburban route, upgrading and electrification of which was announced by the government on August 14.

The first bi-mode trainsets are expected to enter service during 2023–24. The optional 30 could enter traffic by 2029 on longer distance routes including Győr – Szombathely and Győr – Pécs.

The introduction of a bi-mode fleet would also enable MÁV-Start to redeploy its Siemens Desiro DMUs, the only low-floor vehicles in its diesel fleet.

This is MÁV-Start’s second attempt to call tenders for the fleet, having first launched procurement in May. Updated tender notices were called on August 10. One notable aspect of the evaluation of the bids is that extra marks are to be awarded for designs able to operate coupled with MÁV-Start’s existing 123 Stadler Flirt EMUs.

HUNGARY: National passenger operator MÁV-Start has called tenders for an initial 20 bi-mode multiple-units with an option for 30 more. The trains will have to be able to operate in 25 kV 50 Hz electric mode and be capable of using battery power for up to 80 km at a speed of 100 km/h.

The winning bidder will be expected to supply 20 trainsets with 200 seats; the optional 30 sets would have 150 seats. The tender stipulates that if the options are exercise, at least five trains would be ordered.

Of the initial batch of 20, the operator intends to use 10 on the Budapest – Balatonfüred – Tapolca route, serving the popular tourist region around the northern shore of Lake Balaton. The route is currently undergoing electrification between Székesfehérvár and Balatonfüred.

MÁV-Start envisages using the other 10 trainsets on the Budapest – Lajosmizse suburban route, upgrading and electrification of which was announced by the government on August 14.

The first bi-mode trainsets are expected to enter service during 2023–24. The optional 30 could enter traffic by 2029 on longer distance routes including Győr – Szombathely and Győr – Pécs.

The introduction of a bi-mode fleet would also enable MÁV-Start to redeploy its Siemens Desiro DMUs, the only low-floor vehicles in its diesel fleet.

This is MÁV-Start’s second attempt to call tenders for the fleet, having first launched procurement in May. Updated tender notices were called on August 10. One notable aspect of the evaluation of the bids is that extra marks are to be awarded for designs able to operate coupled with MÁV-Start’s existing 123 Stadler Flirt EMUs.

https://www.railwaygazette.com/mav-start-seeks-up-to-50-battery-electric-trainsets/57212.article

Battery Powered Trains will be 35% Cheaper Than Hydrogen, Study Concludes

Treehugger, 27/08/20

The price of batteries keeps dropping, so why do people keep talking about hydrogen?

Just about everyone agrees that the best way to power a train is with electricity from overhead wires; the only problem is that it is really expensive to install. Even in Europe, which is pretty dense and has a great rail system, as much as 40% of the 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers) of track is not electrified, and on many of these lines, the demand isn’t high enough to ever justify the cost, which can be huge. There isn’t only the wiring, but often all the bridges have to be rebuilt higher to handle the height of the catenary wires and pantographs on the roofs of the trains.

European governments want to get rid of diesel-powered trains as part of the fight against global heating, so they have been buyinghydrogen-electric multiple units (HEMU),which are electric trains powered by fuel cells running on hydrogen.

But there is another player in the game: battery electric multiple units (BEMU) –trains powered directly from giant batteries, which are getting better and cheaper by the day. They are now pushing 75 miles (120 kilometers) in range; Rail Journal quotes Brahim Soua of Alstom, who says “This was not the case several years ago where the level of autonomy was close to 40km. This is thanks to an improvement in the battery’s capability to store more energy for the same mass of battery.” This is good enough range to skip through many non-electrified sections of Europe. The Alstom press release explains how it works in these sections:

The Coradia Continental BEMU has a range of up to 120 kilometres and can be operated under catenary as well as on non-electrified sections. The three-car-trains will be 56 metres long and equipped with 150 seats. They will have a top speed of 160 km/h in battery mode. The capacity of the batteries (high-power lithium-ion) is calculated to ensure catenary-free operation of the line Chemnitz-Leipzig without any sacrifice in performance or comfort.

Now Oliver Cuenca of International Railway Journal reports that the battery-powered trains cost 35% less to buy and operate than hydrogen trains. The batteries don’t have to be replaced as often as fuel cells, either, so maintenance costs will be lower. Cuenca notes some caveats:

However, the study assumes that only ‘green’ hydrogen made by electrolysis using electricity from renewable sources will be used. In reality, the cheaper so-called ‘grey hydrogen,’ made as a by-product of the chemical and oil industry, will be used in some cases.

This is likely true. The problem is, there is no point in replacing the diesel trains if they run on gray hydrogen, which is made from natural gas and emits 9.3 kg of CO2 for every kg of H2 in the process. The hydrogen-hype people say this is just an intermediate step, that “The plan is that hydrogen will be produced on site via electrolysis and wind energy at a later stage of the project.” But as we noted before, “while Germany’s renewable electricity supply has grown dramatically, they still get half their power from coal and are closing their nuclear reactors. It will be a very long time before they are making hydrogen from electrolysis.”

Unless it was made at night…

The study also assumes that hydrogen will be more expensive than electricity because electricity is needed to produce the hydrogen in the first place. This may not be true, as electricity used to produce hydrogen generated at night will likely be significantly cheaper due to much lower demand compared with the daytime electricity used when most electric regional trains operate.

Except that if the trains operate during the daytime, they can be charged at night with the same cheap electricity, just like people do with their electric cars. And it will store a lot more of that electricity. Hydrogen is a lousy battery; the efficiency of splitting it from the oxygen is now up to about 80%. Then there are losses compressing and cooling it, and then the fuel cell is only about 50% efficient, giving an overall efficiency at the wheels of about 35%. This all might get better with improved technology, but batteries are running at 80% efficiency now and they are getting better too. As energy expert Paul Martin notes,

A technology which uses 3x as much energy as its competitor, at bare minimum, will have a hard time competing- if they share the same energy source. So if H2 is going to be competitive, beware- it won’t be “green” hydrogen they reach for. It’ll be the only kind you can currently buy- BLACK hydrogen made from fossils without carbon capture. And that’s a highly questionable way to “green” a diesel.

Here at Treehugger we have done quite a few posts about hydrogen trains and this is the first discussing electric trains; hydrogen is a lot sexier. But even the people who buy the trains are voting with their wallets:

The report also found that the adoption of BEMUs for regular operation is increasing rapidly, with 31.2 million km of German railway now exclusively contracted or tendered for BEMU operation. By contrast, hydrogen trains represent only 5.2 million km, limited to two contracts in Lower Saxony and Hessen which both use Alstom iLINT trains.

The hydrogen hype will continue; the fossil fuel giants and gas distribution companies have so much invested in pipes and infrastructure and have vast quantities of cheap natural gas that they can strip the hydrogen out of. They will keep promising that it will someday be green or blue so that they can keep control of the system. But really, electric systems, whether in houses, cars or trains, just keep getting better and better. So let’s just electrify everything and be done with the hydrogen hype.

https://www.treehugger.com/study-concludes-that-battery-powered-trains-will-be-35-cheaper-than-hydrogen-5072498

Next stop Ellenbrook: Will the train line solve the growing town’s isolation woes?

ABC News 27/08/20

For Ellenbrook commuters like Aisha Sulemana-Cave, a long-awaited passenger train to Perth could not come soon enough.

It has been more than a decade since the Morley-Ellenbrook line was promised, connecting the sprawling region of almost 50,000 residents to the CBD, 30 kilometres away.

And now, construction is expected to get underway soon with the contract for works to be awarded later this year.

Ms Sulemana-Cave spends up to three hours a day making her trek to and from the city for TAFE — a trip that would take just over an hour return in a car — and the journey can get nerve-wracking for the 16-year-old.

“Usually when I get home I’m one of the last people on the bus, then it’s really dark,” she said.

“In the park there’s not many street lights — so having to use my flashlight to walk home in the dark is not fun.”

The journey from the new train station, which is expected to be completed in 2023-24, is set to take commuters from Ellenbrook’s town centre to the Perth CBD in half an hour with no need to transfer.

“It will be so much faster — I won’t have to worry about getting in late or traffic or anything,” Ms Sulemana-Cave said.

“I think it’ll be easier for everybody, especially families — I see a lot of people with children, the hassle of getting on the bus everyday with babies and prams and everything.”

The 21-kilometre line will see new stations built in Ellenbrook, Whiteman Park, Malaga, Noranda and Morley, with the State Government expecting over 11,700 passenger boardings on the line from its first day of operation.

Geographically isolated from services

But while the train line — touted as WA’s biggest public transport project since opening of the 70-kilometre Mandurah line in 2007 — will ease many commuters’ struggles dramatically, Ellenbrook’s isolation has impacts beyond public transport.

The City of Swan’s Local Area Plan from 2017 found the area’s disconnection caused “community-wide social issues”, with major gaps in local access to services, employment and training opportunities, and opportunities for young people.

Ms Sulemana-Cave said there was not a lot for young people to do.

“Most of the kids here, they all go out to Joondalup or Midland and the city,” she said.

The plan also found Ellenbrook’s medical services might not be adequate for its ageing population.

Ellenbrook resident Vaughn McGuire said the missing services had been particularly clear when he was injured in a house fire and had ongoing care appointments.

His injuries meant he could hardly walk let alone drive, and the bus timetable was not frequent enough to fit his appointments.

“The services I needed at the time were all based in Midland and Morley and the city,” he said.

“You name it, it needs to be out here — I mean we’ve got thousands of people living out here, I think it’s time we had all those facilities here.”

Mr McGuire said he would like to see increased medical services for the Ellenbrook community, more mental health assistance, a TAFE, and government service offices like Centrelink.

‘Build it and they will come’

Urban planner Paul Maginn from the University of Western Australia said the initial impact from the train line would increase property prices and accessibility to the city.

He said more services were likely on the way as Ellenbrook continued to evolve.

“It’s a case of build it and they will come,” he said.

“I think all the outer suburban areas go through an evolution process in terms of establishing populations and the services that come with them.

“[Ellenbrook] is an interesting place — it’s just getting to maturity, I think.

“It’s coming out of its teenage years and it’s moving into adulthood.”

With next year’s state election drawing closer, Dr Maginn said outer-metropolitan areas like Ellenbrook would be a focal point for parties.

“I think we’ll see both major parties offering all kinds of goodies … in terms of upgrades to schools, upgrades to health facilities, upgrades to public open spaces and things like this,” he said.

“When an outer suburban area gets to a critical mass in terms of population then it becomes politically vital.”

What’s being done about it?

City of Swan chief executive Mike Foley said there had been significant progress towards closing the service gaps identified in Ellenbrook’s Local Area Plan.

That included an interim youth space developed ahead of a dedicated youth centre, grants for community groups, and a $63-million expansion of the local shopping centre.

Mr Foley said the City was also advocating for more funding for an Ellenbrook recreation and aquatic facility and was calling for $5 million for social and family services including counselling, case management and drop-in activities.

Swan Hills MLA Jessica Shaw said the State Government had been focused on improving transport links, with the new NorthLink freeway now open to traffic as well as the New Lord Street road link to Brabham and Caversham.

Ms Shaw said the state had also delivered new services including urgent care clinics, a child and parent centre, and an education support centre. 

“There’s always more to do,” she said.

“The train line is going to be a game changer for Ellenbrook.

“It will deliver local jobs during construction, complete our town centre, create a new commercial and retail precinct with a range of forms of housing, and facilitate our community’s access to employment, higher education, Perth Airport, entertainment and community services right through the Perth region.”

Pearce MP Christian Porter said the train line would make a significant difference to the everyday lives of residents who had been waiting for it, and unlock more opportunities for the region.

Country town to metropolitan hotspot

For locals like Mr McGuire, there’s been a lot of change over the past couple of decades in Ellenbrook.

Ellenbrook’s population is predicted to swell to over 70,000 people by 2036, with significant growth in its young and aged population, many culturally and linguistically diverse families, and many FIFO families needing more support services and playgroups.

While he wants to see services catch up to the population, he also wants to see a strong sense of community grow.

“Initially I moved out here because I thought it would be like my home town that I came from, Kellerberrin,” he said.

“I didn’t realise it was going to be this big, it’s grown tremendously.

“The isolation part was a good thing at the time — having more people out here now, residential, it’s woken Ellenbrook up to the world.

“[I want to see] more people uniting and the community getting together.”


https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-27/will-a-train-solve-the-ellenbrook-isolation-woes/12594978

Cross River Rail TBMs arrive in Brisbane

AUSTRALIA: The two tunnel boring machines to excavate the cross-city rail tunnels under central Brisbane have arrived in Queensland, state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on August 4.

Railway Gazette, 06/08/20

AUSTRALIA: The two tunnel boring machines to excavate the cross-city rail tunnels under central Brisbane have arrived in Queensland, state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on August 4.

The 7·2 m diameter machines were previously used to excavate sections of the Sydney Metro. They have now been delivered to a Herrenknecht facility in Pinkemba for refurbishment before being put to work on the Cross River Rail project.

The TBMs are due to be launched from the Woolloongabba station site in early 2021 and bore the 5·9 km twin tunnels northwards under the city to the Normanby portal, passing through the station boxes at Albert Street and Roma Street en route. Tunnelling is expected to average around 30 m per day.

Visiting the Herrenknecht base on August 4, Queensland’s Minister of State Development & Tourism Kate Jones said the Cross River Rail project would ‘leave behind a legacy of skilled workers trained by world leaders in specialist trades’. Up to 35 people are expected to be deployed on refurbishing the 1 350 tonne machines, which will be 165 m long when reassembled. New names are to be chosen for the TBMs before they are launched next year.

On July 30, the Cross River Rail project authority confirmed that work had started at the Wagners Precast facility in Wacol to manufacture the 25 000 concrete lining segments for the tunnels, with production and deliveries expected to run for around 10 months. More than 400 Queensland-based suppliers and sub-contractor are benefitting from work on the project, the authority said, adding that this was injecting more than A$4m a day into the local economy.

‘We know that to continue rebuilding Queensland’s economy, we must forge ahead with job-creating infrastructure like Cross River Rail’, commented Palaszczuk.

The 10·2 km link between Dutton Park and Bowen Hills including four new underground stations is due to be completed in 2024.

https://www.railwaygazette.com/infrastructure/cross-river-rail-tbms-arrive-in-brisbane/57115.article?adredir=1

ATO on regional passenger trains trial to go ahead in 2021

Rail Express 28 May 2020

A world-first test of automatic train operation (ATO) on a regional train line has received a prestigious award from the German government.

The German Federal Ministry of Economics awarded Alstom with the Innovation Prize for Regulatory Sandboxes for its planned trial of ATO in daily operation of regional passenger trains in Braunschweig.

The test is planned for 2021 and will be conducted by Alstom in partnership with the Regional Association of the greater area of Braunschweig, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin).

Jörg Nikutta, managing director of Alstom in Germany and Austria, said the prize recognised Alstom’s focus on innovation.

“In the future, automated trains will optimize regional rail operations, reduce energy consumption, and increase ride comfort. In this way, highly automated driving will make a decisive contribution to climate protection and contribute to the development of a modern, attractive railway system. Following the development and successful testing of the world’s first hydrogen train Coradia iLint, Alstom is once again the innovative driver in rail transport with the pilot for regional trains in automated operation,” he said.

The trial will be conducted with two Coradia Continental regional trains, owned by the regional rail operator for greater Braunschweig. The trains will be equipped with an European Train Control System (ETCS) and ATO equipment to enable the trains to travel automatically.

The trial will involve two different grades of automation (GoA). In regular passenger operation the trains will operate at GoA3, meaning the trains will be fully autonomous but with an attendant who can step in if there is an emergency. In shunting the trains will be operated fully remotely, at GoA4.

Birgit Milius, head of the Department of Railway Operations and Infrastructure at TU Berlin said that the trail would be an indication of how rail will operate in the future.

“ATO, or Automatic Train Operation, is one of the most exciting challenges in the railway industry. It gives us the opportunity to shape and significantly change the operational management of the future. But a lot of research is still needed before this is the case, and I am very pleased to be working with Alstom on this project,” she said.

Findings from the tests will inform the legal and regulatory framework for ATO. Alstom will use its expertise in ATO for metro trains and research into autonomous freight trains to guide the project.

World’s first two hydrogen trains successfully complete trial passenger service

Global Railway Review 19 May 2020

World’s first two hydrogen trains successfully complete trial passenger service

Two pre-series Alstom Coradia iLint model trains have successfully completed trial passenger services, after 530 days and more than 180,000 driven kilometres.

From 2022, 14 Coradia iLint series trains will replace the existing diesel multiple units. LNVG was the first company to believe in hydrogen, investing in it with the order of 14 Coradia iLint trains and thirty years of maintenance and power supply. This project showcases the importance of green mobility for the state of Lower Saxony. As one of the leading rail vehicle manufacturers in Europe, Alstom will produce the fuel cell trains for LNVG and will be responsible for the maintenance of the vehicles at its site in Salzgitter. The gases and engineering company Linde will build and operate a hydrogen filling station for the series trains near Bremervoerde station.

Jörg Nikutta, Managing Director for Germany and Austria of Alstom Transport Deutschland GmbH, said: “Our two pre-series trains of the Coradia iLint have proven over the past year and a half that fuel cell technology can be used successfully in daily passenger service. This makes us an important driving force on the way to emission-free and sustainable mobility in rail transport . We have also obtained valuable data from the trial operation of the fuel cell trains for the further development of the propulsion technology.”  

Andreas Wagner, Head of the SPNV division and authorised signatory of the Eisenbahnen und Verkehrsbetriebe Elbe-Weser GmbH (evb), said: “We are proud that we were the first railway company in the world to be allowed to operate the first two fuel cell trains on the Weser-Elbe network. From the very beginning, our passengers were very curious about the trains and their new propulsion technology. Besides its very low noise level, the hydrogen train was able to score with its emission-free operation, especially in times of climate change. The operation of the iLint was a very special motivation for our train drivers.”

Carmen Schwabl, Managing Director of LNVG, added: “With the successfully completed trial operation, the requirements for continuous operation of the hydrogen trains from 2022 are fulfilled. LNVG thus contributes to the implementation of sustainable, innovative and ecological mobility solutions, especially in rural areas.”

Lower Saxony’s Minister of Economics and Transport, Dr. Bernd Althusmann, said: “Alstom has made hydrogen history here. The project is of a great importance to industrial policy that goes far beyond Germany. Here, we are witnessing the first competitive product of hydrogen mobility at industrial level.”

Enak Ferlemann, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, said: “The Federal Ministry of Transport is very happy to support the beacon of modern mobility: the hydrogen train in Bremervörde. After all, this project is a flagship for the mobility of the future. Hydrogen is a real low-emission and efficient alternative to diesel. Especially on secondary lines where overhead lines are uneconomical or not yet available, these trains can travel cleanly and in an environmentally friendly way. We would like to see more such applications.”

Coradia iLint

Coradia iLint is the first passenger train in the world to be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, which generates electrical energy for propulsion. This completely emission-free train is quiet and emits only water vapor and condensation water. The train features several different innovations: clean energy conversion, flexible energy storage in batteries and intelligent management of motive power and available energy. Designed specifically for use on non-electrified lines, it enables clean, sustainable train operations.

250 km/h ‘high speed metro’ in Guangzhou urban rail plan

Railway Gazette, 17 January 2020

CHINA: The Guangzhou municipal government has approved a 15-year plan to increase public transport’s market share to 80% through the development of a comprehensive urban rail network based on three metro, ‘express metro’ and ‘high speed metro’ networks.

Read more

‘Romance’ of rail can mitigate skills crisis

Railway Gazette, 5 December 2019

AUSTRALIA: The rail sector needs to embrace rapid changes in workplace expectations in order to overcome a looming demographic crisis, delegates at the AusRail conference in Sydney heard on December 4.

Addressing a panel discussion on future employment trends, Tim Rawlings, Head of Training Product Development at PwC Australia, suggested that the wave of investment pouring into the market, combined with the ‘inherent romance of rail transport’, could help the sector attract a new generation of workers. ‘These younger people now entering the workforce are more driven by a sense of purpose than by money’, he added.

Read more

Russian Railways orders high speed trains

Railway Gazette 7 June 2019

RUSSIA: Russian Railways has signed a €1·1bn order for a further 13 Velaro RUS high speed trains for use on the 650 km Moscow – St Petersburg route, Siemens Mobility announced on June 7.

The 10-car 3 kV DC trainsets will be supplied by Siemens Mobility and the Ural Locomotives joint venture of Siemens and Sinara Group. The contract includes 30 years of maintenance.

The order was signed on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. It follows the contract for an initial eight Velaro RUS trainsets which was signed by Siemens and RZD in 2006, and a follow-on order for eight more placed in 2011.

‘The fact that RZD is relying on Siemens Mobility for the third time in expanding its high speed fleet reflects the strong performance of our Velaro platform, which increases value sustainably over the entire lifecycle, enhances passenger experience and optimises availability’, said Siemens Mobility CEO Sabrina Soussan. ‘The Velaro has already proven its reliability in Russia after covering more than 50 million fleet-km since 2009.’

The Russian variant of the Velaro family is branded ‘Sapsan’ (Peregrine Falcon) by RZD. The 1520 mm gauge trainsets are designed to operate at up to 250 km/h on upgraded conventional infrastructure in temperatures ranging from -40°C to +40°C.

https://www.railwaygazette.com/news/traction-rolling-stock/single-view/view/russian-railways-orders-high-speed-trains.html )({},e,Obj

Swedes switch to trains due to global warming

DW.com 3 June 2019

Swedes seem to be following climate activist Greta Thunberg’s example in shunning air travel. The percentage that opted to take a train rather than fly has doubled in a year and a half. Flight shame may be at work.

One flight between Sweden’s two biggest cities, Stockholm and Gothenburg, generates as much carbon dioxide, the gas that contributes the most to global warming, as 40,000 train journeys, according to SJ, the country’s biggest train operator. Awareness of air travel’s impact on the planet has made 16-year-old Greta Thunberg eschew planes as she travels the world to make the case for saving the planet from environmental disaster.

Many of her compatriots, worried about the planet’s future, are also opting to forgo air travel. Almost twice as many Swedes chose to travel by train instead of plane in the past year and a half — from 20% to 37%, an SJ study by pollsters Sifo has found.

Sweden’s airports have noticed a change, too. Fewer Swedes are traveling by plane, according to Swedavia, which operates the country’s 10 busiest airports. Passenger numbers dropped by 8% domestically and 4% to destinations abroad from January to April 2019, compared to the first quarter of 2018. It’s a continuing trend: 2018 saw a 3% decline in domestic passenger numbers. More than half of those surveyed by Sifo, 57%, said they think about the environment when they travel in Sweden.

Some of them also think about shame, shame that they feel when they fly and thus contribute to global warming.

The concept of “flygskam” — feeling shame about flying — gained currency last year and was dubbed one of the most-used new words by Swedish language experts. It drew copious media attention along with the social media campaign #jastannarpamarken, translated into English as #stayontheground.

“There’s something about flying that triggers a lot of emotions in people, whether you’re a person who has decided to stay on the ground, or you’re a person who is still flying or who is reluctant to change your travel behavior,” said Frida Hylander, a Swedish psychologist who looks at how we behave in relation to climate change and the environment.

“I don’t think the focus on the flight issue is as big in other countries. It’s become very focused on flying in Sweden, perhaps because the Swedes are a population that flies lots, five times more than the general world’s citizen,” she said.

Climate crisis brings guilt and shame

But that may be changing as Swedes become more aware of global warming. The country has recorded some of the hottest summers ever in recent years, while the worst wildfires in modern times burned more than 25,000 hectares (100 square miles) of land last year. And as a highly educated, wealthy country, Swedes can arguably afford to care and to change their behavior to avoid shame.

“Shame is called our most social emotion,” said Hylander. “The function of shame is to make sure we don’t do anything that will exclude us from the group. There are a lot of things we do in our everyday life out of fear of shame. When we’re at a work meeting, we don’t fart loudly, even if we have to because that’s not socially acceptable or socially desirable.

“When it becomes more and more apparent that our flight behavior is unsustainable and we also become more aware of the acuteness of the climate crisis, I think that guilt and shame will be triggered,” she added. “It doesn’t have to be triggered by someone calling us out.”

Different behavior for longer journeys

But Swedes seem to have managed to set aside their guilty feelings when it comes to traveling abroad. Last year, Sweden’s busiest airports saw a 2% rise in passenger numbers.

The country’s northern location means train travel abroad takes a lot longer than a quick flight. A flight from Stockholm to Berlin takes an hour and 40 minutes. A train from Stockholm to Berlin takes around 16 hours.

Ving, one of Scandinavia’s biggest tour operators, is currently checking to see the extent of Swedes’ interest in taking trains to travel abroad, explained Fredrik Henriksson, the company’s head of communications. This year Ving reintroduced a charter train trip to the Swiss Alps that it had offered in 2010, a time when, as now, climate change had become a huge concern in Sweden. Customers didn’t bite, and the package was scrapped after a year.

The new package, which takes 26 hours from Stockholm to Davos, involves five changes before the travelers arrive for a week of hiking in the mountains. This time around the 30 spots did sell out, albeit after many weeks. That, Henriksson said, encouraged the company to launch a second train package to Switzerland and a third, originating in Copenhagen, which it is also marketing to its Swedish customers.

But those roughly 100 seats are nothing compared to Ving Sweden’s main business, which serves around 700,000 passengers annually, most of those by airplane.

https://www.dw.com/en/swedes-switch-to-trains-due-to-global-warming/a-49033136

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