Roadmap for sustainable public transport and rail

In the document CO2 visie OV en Spoor 2050 [CO2 vision for public transport and rail in 2050] (2015) twelve parties have committed to achieving 100% CO2 neutrality in Dutch public transport and rail (passenger and goods) by the year 2050. These parties asked CE Delft to advise on how these targets can be achieved. An analysis of medium and long term trends indicates that public transport will continue to play a major role in society, with high volume growth projected, particularly on the busiest routes. Our recommendations define seven key themes to which efforts should be directed to secure the targets, including electrification – possibly hydrogen-based – of regional passenger trains, buses and the freight locomotives currently running on diesel. With respect to rail freight it is recommended not only to phase out diesel but also, explicitly, to shift from road to rail transport. The report can be seen as a basis for further elaboration of the transition paths; the cited measures do not represent a ‘final say’ and the recommendations are certainly not limiting. Making material consumption fully sustainable is deemed to be one of the biggest challenges.