Sign In

Error
Error
Create an account

Create a free IEA account to download our reports or subcribe to a paid service.

Join for freeJoin for free

Rail

Urban and high-speed rail infrastructures have scaled up rapidly over the past decade, laying the foundation for convenient, low-emissions transport within and between cities.

Rail Jpg

Key findings

Share of rail travel in total passenger transport activity globally in the Net Zero Scenario, 2010-2030

Openexpand

Rail is one of the most energy-efficient transport modes

Rail is one of the most energy-efficient transport modes, responsible for 9% of global motorised passenger movement and 7% of freight but only 3% of transport energy use. Urban and high-speed rail infrastructure has expanded rapidly over the past decade, laying the foundation for convenient, low-emissions transport within and between cities. China is leading the way in deploying high-speed rail with unprecedented expansion. Vast electrification of rail lines is taking place in India, which has the second-longest rail infrastructure after China, and a few other regions have recently been undertaking pre-commercial demonstrations of hydrogen trains. Progress so far is encouraging, though alignment with the Net Zero Emissions Scenario pathway will require a faster shift from carbon-intensive modes such as private cars, trucks and airplanes to rail, and higher shares of low-carbon fuels in total rail subsector energy consumption by 2030.