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Climate-friendly travel

The Future of Travel

One person travelling by train from Stockholm to Gothenburg generates carbon dioxide emissions equivalent of 1 ml gasoline.

How much carbon dioxide does a train journey produce?

SJ only purchases electricity from renewable sources. As we run on electricity, the journey itself does not cause any emissions, but carbon dioxide is produced when the electricity we use is generated. The average carbon footprint for SJ’s trains (all routes and train types) is 0.0039 grams per passenger-kilometre. When it comes to our high-speed X 2000 trains the average emisson is only 0.0024 grams per passenger-kilometre.

100 % renewable energy makes SJ's trains climate-friendly

SJ only purchases electricity from renewable sources, which is just one of the reasons why travelling with us is climate-friendly. All our electricity comes from wind and hydropower. 50 % of the electricity is also Good Environmental Choice labelled ("Bra Miljöval"), which places further requirements on the generation of electricity, such as not drying out riverbeds and building fish passages for fish and waterborne species.

How long can a train freewheel for?

There are lots of routes in our oblong country where SJ’s train drivers let their trains freewheel; in other words the driver does not use the engines to drive the train forward. Freewheeling a train for 60 km is a piece of cake, according to many of our drivers! If the departure station is at a higher altitude than the arrival station, you can even freewheel for more than 100 km. Here are some of the routes where SJ’s train drivers let their trains run entirely under their own power, where circumstances allow:

  • Nässjö–Mjölby, 85 km
  • Malmsjön-Stockholm, 50 km
  • Falköping–Gothenburg, 180 km
  • Södertälje–Stockholm, 40 km
  • Vårgårda–Gothenburg, 70 km
  • Floby–Gothenburg, 100 km
  • Sösdala–Lund, 50 km
  • Nässjö–Alvesta, 80 km
Two passengers on board the high-speed trains

See how climate-friendly your journeys are

As an SJ Prio member, you receive a regular report (in Swedish only) on how climate-friendly your travel has been and how much carbon dioxide you have saved compared with if you had travelled by car or aeroplane. If you have SJ’s mobile app, you can also see in the travel view after every journey how much carbon dioxide you have saved.

Travelling by train is energy-effecient

On a train, there are many of us travelling together. This makes the energy-efficiency per person of a train journey extremely high. The train is also powered by electric motors, which are highly efficient compared with gasoline and diesel engines. The electric motor uses more of the energy with less of it going to waste, in the form of heat for example, compared with petrol and diesel engines.

The long, narrow design of trains also means that there is less air resistance compared with a vehicle that is wider and shorter.

200 km on 1 gram of carbon dioxide

A train passenger travels over 200 km on just 1 g of carbon dioxide emissions. If you take the car, you will not get much further than the end of your drive, and an aeroplane would not even be able to start its engines.

Organic food in the bistro on SJ's trains

Our bistro offers several organic alternatives, including dishes from the restaurant Kalf & Hansen. Kalf & Hansen focuses on ingredients that are in season when they compose their dishes and almost everything is locally produced.

In 2018, the partnership between SJ and Kalf & Hansen was named “Brilliant Idea of the Year” by the Fast Food Awards.

Data sources:

SJ purchases 100 % renewable electricity from hydropower, of which 50 % also carries the Good Environmental Choice label, which places more stringent environmental requirements on the generation of electricity. Our journeys have carried the Good Environmental Choice label for over 25 years.

Our calculations are based on the electricity we purchase, in other words electricity from a renewable source (hydropower). This is in line with the international standards on calculating transport emissions, such as EN 16258 or the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

Enery consumption, train:

0.0081 kWh/passenger-kilometre. The figure is an average of all SJ's train types at average occupancy.
0.050 kWh/passenger-kilometre. This figure is for an X 2000 train at average occupancy.

Source: SJ (measurements taken during live operation in 2019).

Carbon dioxide emissions from the generation of hydropower electricity:

0.048 grams of CO2/kWh. This figure includes losses in the public grid and in the rail network.
Source: Vattenfall EPD 2021 (Environmental Product Declaration) for the generation of hydropower electricity.

0.081*0.048 = 0.0039 gram CO2/passenger-kilometre with average SJ train.
0.050*0.048 = 0.0024 gram CO2/passenger-kilometre with X 2000 train.

Carbon dioxide emissons, flight:

95 g CO2/passenger-kilometre.

Source: SAS Annual and sustainability resport - fiscal year 2019.

Carbon dioxide emissons, bus:

30 g CO2/passenger-kilometre.

Source: NTM (Network for Transport Measures); Long Distance Coach.

Carbon dioxide emissions, car:

1 person in the car: 93 grams of CO2/km
2 people in the car: 46 grams of CO2/km

Source: Swedish Transport Agency; CO2 emissions, average new car 2020.

Do you want to know more?

Send an e-mail to miljo@sj.se