FINNISH national operator VR Group has reiterated its plans to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency by a further 15% by 2025. Methods of achieving this will include more electric trains and increasing train and load sizes.

VR says that despite rail travel already being carbon neutral and zero-emission freight transport a possibility, it believes it can do even more within the next four years.

The operator is also aiming to increase the recycling rate to 80%.

VR is also planning to introduce energy-efficient traction equipment and energy-efficient driving technology. VR aims increase the overall modal share for rail to 10% of passenger transport and 30% of freight transport.

“Visions of the low-emission mobility solutions of the future speak to society. The background is an acute climate challenge,” says Ms Taru Uotila, VR Group director of legal and sustainability. “By choosing a train, everyone can accelerate the goal of a carbon-neutral Finland today.” She claims that emissions from rail are 98% lower than a car on average.

Currently some 95% of VR passenger trains operate using purely renewable electricity while almost 80% of freight trains use renewable electricity.

“Although environmental friendliness is the strength of train traffic and VR is already the greenest choice, we are not satisfied with this,” Uotila says. “Environmental responsibility is one of the essential themes of sustainability in our company, and we are committed to doing our part in global climate action, continuously improving our operations.”