Nordic trade protests overnight train closures

Deutsche Bahn plans to close key overnight routes

Despite the constant alarm at climate change, more night-train lines are facing closure in Europe, prompting international protests. The most recent case concerns travel between Germany and northern Scandinavia.

Compared with flights and car travel, trains in Europe are at least ten times better from a climate perspective.

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn is planning to close several key overnight train routes, such as those connecting Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam and Warsaw. During All Saints Day, a few hundred people gathered to protest the stoppage of overnight trains from Copenhagen to cities like Basel, Prague and Amsterdam.

Friends of the Earth encouraged thousands of people to send protest emails to Deutsche Bahn, and across Europe there are several different petitions against the planned closures.

“Trains are by far climatically better compared to air travel and overnight trains are an option that saves time and makes it possible to arrive at a reasonable time,” said Ellie Cijvat, president of Friends of the Earth.

Dirk Hagenbuch of the hotel and winter sports centre Solberget in Swedish Lapland thinks things are moving in the wrong direction and is calling on politicians to take responsibility for the future climate and Sweden as a growing tourist attraction. He actively encourages German guests to take the train to Solberget in Lapland and is leading protests to stop the closures.

Vagabond

[pictured: Rail travel in Sweden as sustainable transport; photo by Melker Dahlstrand /imagebank.sweden.se]