Dr Enrica Papa, Course Leader of the Transport Planning and Management MSc, has written an article for The Conversation about whether sleeper trains could replace international air travel. 

Credit: William Daigneault

The influence of climate campaigners like Greta Thunberg has resulted in airlines such as KLM feeling obliged to ask its consumers “Could you take the train instead?” leading to the possibility of ‘flight shame’. 

Dr Papa wrote: “European high-speed rail networks already offer an alternative to air traffic between European countries for distances shorter than 1,000 kilometres. For longer journeys, sleeper trains are becoming increasingly popular. These services run through the night and offer passengers a berth to sleep in. As more and more consumers question the ethics of their next flight, rail companies see an opportunity – and competition with airlines is heating up.

“Researchers who study consumer profiles in different markets recently identified a new one: the ‘environmental traveller’. People who fall into this market segment try to maintain a lifestyle that is as environmentally friendly as possible – and that includes reducing the number of flights they take.”

Read the full article on The Conversation. 

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