The emissions reduction potential of substituting short-haul flights with non-high-speed rail (NHSR): The case of Finland

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Baumeister, S
Leung, A
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2020
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Replacing short-haul flights with high-speed rail (HSR) has been widely discussed as one solution to mitigate the climate change impacts of aviation. However, although HSR can provide travel times similar to those provided by short-haul flights, and at lower emission levels, it also requires considerable investments in time and infrastructure to build. Instead, this study considers the feasibility of replacing short-haul flights with existing non-high-speed rail (NHSR). Our study is based in Finland, a country that has an extensive route network of short-haul flights but does not possess any HSR. We compared all 16 city pairs for which short-haul flights are offered with existing NHSR based on the total carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (CO2-eq) and real travel times from door-to-door. Two scenarios were developed based on the results, which suggest replacing all short-haul flights with NHSR in Finland. This would result in a 95% emissions reduction. In terms of travel times, NHSR could remain competitive against air travel on distances up to 400 km.

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Case Studies on Transport Policy

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© 2020. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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Baumeister, S; Leung, A, The emissions reduction potential of substituting short-haul flights with non-high-speed rail (NHSR): The case of Finland, Case Studies on Transport Policy, 2020

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