Do trains cause pollution?

Trains create pollution; however, it is important to note that on a passenger level rail is one of the lowest impact public transport methods, in addition the carbon footprint intensity of rail continues to decrease.

In 2019 LNER successfully retired the old fleet of diesel high speed trains in favour of modern electric and bi-mode Azuma trains. The enabled us to reduce carbon intensive diesel consumption by 30% compared to 2019.

Pollution comes from the diesel (used north of Edinburgh where electric trains cannot run) and electricity that the trains consume while moving along the East Coast mainline. Diesel releases the greatest amount of carbon, while the electricity we consume from the overhead line has a much lower carbon intensity. This is because the UK national grid is decarbonising. This is the removal of fossil fuel power stations in favour of low and zero carbon alternatives e.g. solar, wind, hydro, biomass and anaerobic digestion.