High-speed rail helps reduce carbon emissions

One: Trains are just hands down more fuel-efficient than cars and planes.
Two: The attractive force of high-speed rail concentrates activity and development near train stations. More effective land use, less sprawl, and fewer local miles driven.
Trains vs. planes and automobiles

Transportation generates 29% of carbon emissions in the U.S. High-speed rail, in an integrated public transit network, is the most effective way to slash those emissions.

The low rolling resistance of steel wheels on steel rails is the basis for high-energy efficiency that cannot be beat by any other mode other than bicycles.

No other mode has the flexibility to serve dispersed and varied markets to spur a massive shift from driving.

A trip from Paris to Marseille by rail produces scant carbon compared to other modes of travel. Rail is also much more fuel efficient.

The French TGV makes nearly 30 trips per day between these two cities, the fastest in just over 3 hours. That’s about the same distance as Atlanta to Indianapolis or Sacramento to San Diego.

High-speed rail helps reduce local car trips

High-speed trains dramatically collapse travel times and so draw massive ridership. Amplified passenger activity is focused at train stations, typically in town or city centers and usually with connections to local transit. This has a magnetic effect on development, helping reduce sprawl. Fewer and shorter car trips translate to lower carbon emissions.