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CEAC – “Gov't Increase Rail Freight & Lower Climate Emissions"

There is a significant opportunity to reduce transport emissions shifting freight from road to rail claim this UK report. http://www.freightonrail.org.uk/FactsFigures-environmental.htm Quote; “it will be very difficult to meet the 2050 goals without major reductions in GHG emissions from Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs). 1 While electric technology means car emissions can be reduced significantly, current electric technology is not feasible for large HGVs as the batteries would weigh more than the payload of the lorry. - Unquote.

CEAC message to Government; - “URGENT; Climate change emissions are now increasing causing an emergency”

Subject; Freight is big CO2 emitter CEAC are calling for more rail freight.

The recommendations for using rail to reduce the climate emissions’ by 2050 must now be adopted by Government.

  • So we need to move freight back to rail now, to be safely ‘ahead of the curve of adverse weather events’ now ASAP.
  • Each agency and industry now must play our part for our communities health and wellbeing.

The AECOM technical (Back to Facts and Figures) is very convincing evidence for the NZ Government to consider why we need the active move to ‘balance’ at least half the current massive ‘lion’s share of all freight’ (92%) road freight back to rail.

History of the demise of NZ’s once proud public rail company service.

This massive loss of half the land transport of rail freight was lost to roading during the Prebble/Douglas ‘Rogernomics era’ of ‘wild rationalisation of rail during the 1980’s’.

The public owned ‘crown rail asset’ was sold to overseas companies and local investors in 1991 to these “opportunists”.

  • whom sold on most rail infrastructure assets gradually to cover their cost of buying the rail, (called “asset stripping”)
  • and left only the shell of a once full operating intergraded road and rail freight and passenger service that served the whole country’s communities wellbeing for generations.

Now its time to make our public rail company Kiwi Rail function again for the communities health and wellbeing for their and our future.

Why we need to make rail function again;



  • The lack of alignment between Government policies for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and rail freight locomotives disadvantages the latter and will make it harder for the Government to meet its emissions reduction targets.
  • Because, despite the fact that rail freight produces 76% less CO2 emissions than HGVs, diesel-only freight locomotives will be banned from 2040 and yet diesel HGVs will not be banned. Additionally, the Government halted the large scale rail electrification projects despite the fact that electric traction is the proven sustainable alternative to diesel, which is cheaper to maintain and increases capacity.
  • HGVs contribute 17 per cent of surface access CO2 emissions, despite making up only 5 per cent of road vehicles. Source CCC 2018
  • By contrast, the total greenhouse gas emissions from rail (including both freight and passengers combined) are an order of magnitude lower at less than 2% of total UK transport emissions.
  • Energy efficiency is directly related to carbon dioxide emissions, rail is significantly more energy efficient than other modes with the exception of shipping. a tonne of goods can travel 246 miles by rail as opposed to 88 miles by road on a gallon of fuel 
    Source Network Rail Value of Freight July 2010.

1. AECOM report ECO driving for HGVs (December 2016)

Air Pollution

  • Rail freight can be part of the solution to reduce air pollution. Currently, 40,000 people die prematurely in the UK from diesel fumes wide-spread air quality violations, especially in cities like London and Manchester which are already exceeding their NOX emissions limits.
  • Rail produces 90 per cent less PM10 particulates and up to 15 times less nitrogen dioxide emissions than HGVs for the equivalent journey.
  • HGVs account for around 21% of road transport NOx emissions while making up just 5% of vehicle miles, according to the DfT Freight Carbon Review February 2017. However, due to the increasing uptake of Euro VI truck engines, the Road Haulage Industry estimate that HGVs will account for around 13% of road transport NOx emissions for 2018.

VOC volatile organic compounds. Source RSSB 2007

  • A shift to rail freight will play an important long-term role in reducing non-exhaust particulates (PMs). While the latest EuroVI engine technology reduces exhaust particulates, non-exhaust particulate pollution from HGV tyres and brakes, which are hard to reduce for trucks which have large ones, will remain a serious problem for which there is no current solution.
  • Non-exhaust particulate emissions will also continue to be a considerable health risk for electric cars and vans, a point which has not been widely acknowledged to date. 
  • Noise Pollution
    Far fewer people negatively impacted by rail noise than road noise.
    DfT stats: only around 40,000 people are impacted by rail noise, but around 700,000 people are impacted by road noise. Unquote.

CEAC message to Government; - “URGENT; Climate change emissions are now increasing causing an emergency”

  • So we need to move freight back to rail now, to be safely ‘ahead of the curve of adverse weather events’ now ASAP.

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