The Cost of Climate Change: Exploring the High Price of Train Travel and the Impact of Global Warming

Alfred Tang

Alfred Tang

Sep 01, 20233 min read


The Cost of Climate Change: Exploring the High Price of Train Travel and the Impact of Global Warming


As the world grapples with the effects of climate change, the cost of travel has become a significant concern. While flying has long been considered a more expensive mode of transportation, the rising prices of train travel have raised questions about the disparity between the two. Furthermore, the relationship between climate change and the cost of travel is becoming increasingly apparent. In this article, we will explore why train travel is more expensive than flying and delve into the ways in which climate change continues to impact our lives.

The Cost of Train Travel vs. Flying:

One of the primary factors contributing to the higher cost of train travel compared to flying is the infrastructure required. Trains require extensive tracks, stations, and maintenance, all of which have significant costs associated with them. Additionally, the cost of fuel for trains is often higher than that of airlines, further driving up the expenses of train travel. These factors contribute to the higher ticket prices for train journeys, making them less affordable for many individuals.

The Impact of Climate Change on Travel:

Climate change has had far-reaching effects on various aspects of our lives, including transportation. The rise in average global temperatures, by a full degree Celsius since the Industrial Revolution, has resulted in more extreme weather events. These events, such as flooding, fires, and storms, displace millions of people every year. This, in turn, affects the availability and affordability of transportation options, including trains and flights.

The Connection between Climate Change and Travel Costs:

The impact of climate change on infrastructure and resources plays a significant role in the rising costs of travel. As glaciers and ice sheets melt, sea levels rise, leading to the submergence of low-lying areas. This necessitates the construction of new infrastructure or the reinforcement of existing ones, driving up costs for transportation systems. Additionally, the need for renewable and sustainable energy sources in the face of climate change introduces additional expenses for the transportation industry.

The Role of Subsidies:

Another factor contributing to the higher costs of flying compared to train travel is the presence of polluting subsidies in the airline industry. These subsidies, in the form of tax breaks and other financial incentives, allow airlines to operate at lower costs, making air travel cheaper for consumers. On the other hand, train travel does not benefit from similar subsidies, thus resulting in higher ticket prices. Addressing these polluting subsidies and promoting sustainable practices could help level the playing field and make train travel more affordable.


The cost disparity between train travel and flying can be attributed to various factors, including infrastructure costs, fuel expenses, and the presence of polluting subsidies. Additionally, climate change plays a significant role in shaping travel costs, as extreme weather events and rising sea levels necessitate additional resources and infrastructure. To address these challenges, it is crucial to take action at both individual and systemic levels. Here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Support sustainable transportation options: By opting for train travel over flying whenever possible, individuals can contribute to reducing their carbon footprint and supporting more environmentally friendly modes of transportation.
  • 2. Advocate for policy changes: Encourage policymakers to address polluting subsidies in the airline industry and prioritize investment in sustainable infrastructure for train travel. By raising awareness and participating in advocacy efforts, individuals can contribute to systemic change.
  • 3. Promote climate-conscious decision-making: Educate yourself and others about the impact of climate change on travel costs and the importance of making informed choices. By considering the environmental implications of our travel decisions, we can contribute to a more sustainable future.

In conclusion, the cost disparity between train travel and flying is influenced by various factors, including infrastructure expenses, fuel costs, and the impact of climate change. By understanding these connections and taking action, we can work towards a more equitable and sustainable transportation system.


  1. "Why is travelling by train so much more expensive than flying?", (Glasp)
  2. "How Will Climate Change Continue to Affect Us?: Crash Course Climate & Energy #8 - YouTube", (Glasp)

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