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Can high speed rail offset its embedded emissions?
2011 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the climate benefit of investments in high speed rail-way lines given uncertainty in future transport demand, technology and power production. To capture the uncertainty of estimated parameters, distributions for the annual traffic emissions reduction required to compensate for the embedded emissions from the construction of infrastructure are calculated using Monte Carlo simulation. In order to balance the annualized emissions from the railway construction, traffic volumes of more than 10 million annual one-way trips are usually required. Most of the traffic diverted from other modes must come from aviation and the project cannot involve the extensive use of tunnels. In sparsely populated regions it may be, from a climate point of view, better to upgrade existing lines and to try to make people substitute air travel by modern telecommunications, rather than investing large amounts of resources in enabling people to travel faster and more often.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm, Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute (VTI), KTH Royal Institute of Technology, S-WoPEc, Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics , 2011. , 14 p.
CTS Working Paper, 2011:16
Keyword [en]
High speed, Railway track, Investment, Cost benefit analysis, External effect, Emission, Carbon dioxide, Calculation, Simulation, Transport mode
National Category
Environmental Sciences Economics
Research subject
Railway: General works, surveys, comprehensive works, Railway: Economics; Railway: General works, surveys, comprehensive works, Railway: Environment
URN: urn:nbn:se:vti:diva-650OAI: diva2:669345
Available from: 2013-12-03 Created: 2013-12-03 Last updated: 2014-03-17Bibliographically approved

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