PRORAIL, Netherlands Railways (NS), Eurostar and Avanti West Coast, working with Youth for Sustainable Travel, have announced plans to operate a special “Climate Train” rail service to carry delegates to the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow.

Young people, official delegations, mobility experts, Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs) and representatives of the railway sector have been invited to travel by Eurostar from Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Brussels to London, where they will change to an Avanti West Coast train to Glasgow.

During the trip, Youth for Sustainable Travel and the rail partners will organise a series of debates and seminars to draw attention to the important role that rail and sustainable travel can play in achieving the global climate change goals.

“Six years after the climate summit in Paris, many countries have still taken too few concrete steps to limit global warming,” says Youth for Sustainable Travel chair, Ms Mara de Pater. “If we continue at this rate, the earth will have warmed up by 3oC by the year 2100, according to research by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This will lead to a sharp rise in sea level and more extreme weather, with all its consequences. This can and must change, and the travel industry is an important sector in this respect, where many sustainability steps can still be taken.”

“What could be nicer than travelling by train to an international climate summit,” says European Commission vice-president, Mr Frans Timmermans, who will travel by train to COP26. “The train is sustainable and provides a lot of comfort, whether you travel for work or pleasure. More and more passengers in Europe are recognising the advantages of travelling by rail. We want to increase this number in the coming years by, for example, doubling the amount of high-speed train traffic and making international rail travel even easier. I am really looking forward to leaving for Glasgow by train with our delegation.”

The initiative is also supported by the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), European Rail Infrastructure Managers (EIM) and the International Union of Railways (UIC).

The service follows plans to sail to the COP25 summit in Chile in 2019. When this was subsequently moved to Madrid, Youth for Sustainable Travel called for other young people in Europe to visit the climate summit by train.