From my perspective traveling by train has many advantages over driving a car1. For me, on the route from Magdeburg to Braunschweig, the train is a better choice because I can avoid the annoying traffic jams on the highway (A2). This journey not only has environmental benefits and saves time compared to driving by car, but also offers an exciting and varied journey.

The fact that traveling by trains is more environmentally friendly than driving a car is not a recent revelation; it has been known for some time. According to a study by the German Environment Agency, rail traffic causes significantly fewer CO₂ emissions per passenger kilometer compared to car traffic. While an average car emits about 143 grams of CO₂ per kilometer, trains emit only about 32 grams per passenger kilometer2. Using the RB40 contributes significantly reducing my own personal CO₂ footprint and makes a valuable contribution to climate protection.3

Putting climate protection aside, one of the most fascinating aspects of train travel is meeting other people. Unlike driving, where you are usually alone or with familiar passengers, a train ride offers a colorful mix of fellow travelers and a wealth of interesting observations and conversations. Where else can you hear private voice messages that accidentally become public or watch an adult man knitting with green glitter yarn? Excuse me, what are you making? It’s a hat. Such experiences make the trip entertaining and enjoyable and reduces the perceived travel time. The variety of people you meet on the train ranges from commuters and students to occasional travelers, each with their own story.4

Therefore, traveling by train promotes a sense of community. You share the space with others, which sometimes leads to unexpected interactions. A smile here, a conversation there – time passes faster when you’re not alone. A scientific article showed that social interactions can have positive effects on our well-being5. The feeling of community and shared experience makes the trip more pleasant and less lonely.

Despite all the positive aspects, there are behaviors that can spoil the travel experience. One particular concern for me is the choice of travel snacks. Please, dear fellow travelers, let’s make sure the train remains a pleasant place early in the morning. A kebab at 6 am might be an interesting breakfast idea for some6. But the smell is quite unpleasant if you site next to the person eating it, especially when I am hungry and have an empty stomach. Can we don,t have Döner in trains. Please.

  1. Link: Personal Blog / FROM RELUCTANCE TO RAILS. ↩︎
  2. Link: Umweltbundesamt / Vergleich der durchschnittlichen Emissionen einzelner Verkehrsmittel im Personenverkehr ↩︎
  3. Link: Deutsche Bahn / Die grüne Transformation der Deutschen Bahn ↩︎
  4. Link: research gate / Understanding passengers‘ experiences of train journeys to inform the design of technological innovations ↩︎
  5. Link: New York Times / Social Interaction Is Critical for Mental and Physical Health ↩︎
  6. Link: The Guardian / The breakfast kebab: is this the morning meal we’ve all been waiting for? ↩︎