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Climate Train on the right track for COP26

Dec 21 2021
By Rob Author
Category Feature
Avanti West Coast, Eurostar, NS, ProRail and Youth for Sustainable Travel joined forces on a green-minded project that saw a train decorated with a special environment-inspired wrap for the recent COP26 event in Glasgow in Scotland.
More formally known as the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26 took place from 31 October to 12 November and welcomed dignitaries from around the world, with the aim of advancing plans to combat climate change.
To promote the event, as well as the fact that trains offer people one of the most planet-friendly and sustainable methods of travel, one of Avanti West Coast’s Pendolino trains was wrapped in a special design.
The train was used to carry delegates from London to Glasgow, with those travelling on the train given access to key stats about the green benefits of rail travel, including that a flight from London to Glasgow is the equivalent of seven train journeys between the two cities.
Delegates were also informed that a passenger's carbon footprint of just one flight between Amsterdam in the Netherlands and London is the same as seven Eurostar train journeys, highlighting the significant carbon savings to be made by improving access to fast rail connections between the UK and Europe.
The wrap was applied with the support of train builder Alstom, brand implementation and image management specialist Aura Graphics, and rolling stock company Angel Trains, which owns and invests in the Avanti West Coast Pendolino fleet.
Phil Whittingham, managing director of Avanti West Coast, said: “Climate change is a serious threat to everyone on the planet and Avanti West Coast, like the wider rail industry, is committed to cleaner, greener transport for all. By uniting with operators across the continent, the Climate Train’s journey illustrates the ease of travelling between countries providing customers with a sustainable alternative.
“But our commitment goes beyond COP26. For example, in the next few years we will be replacing our diesel only trains with a combination of electric and bi-mode trains that will substantially reduce our carbon footprint and impact on the environment.”
The British government has pledged to deliver a net zero railway network by 2050, which research shows could create almost 6,000 long-term jobs, as well as to remove all diesel-only trains from the network by 2040.
Minister of State for Transport, Chris Heaton-Harris, said: “Our railways are one of the most sustainable ways for people to travel. As we host the world at COP26, I’m proud that our railway is playing its part in the fight against climate change.
“We are committed to achieving a net zero rail network by 2050, ensuring our railways continue to play a pivotal role in enabling greener, cleaner journeys for passengers.”

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