Truck-vs-train

The energy balance of the Austrian railways confirms what environmentalists always tell: The freight belongs on the rails. Raising oil prices will also bring the freight on the rails.



The data are from the ecological balance for freight and person transport from the ÖBB (Austrian railway society) from 2002

Electric power usage for freight932.536 MWh
Diesel usage for freight12.400.000 Liter
Electricity equivalent at 40% efficiency49.600 MWh
Displace work29.466 MWh
Diesel for displace work9.900.000 Liter
Electricity equivalent at 40% efficiency39.600 MWh
Share of displace work79%
Freight tons km17.627.000.000
Freight tons87.215.000 t
Average distance202,1 km
Average occupation64%
Total energy for freight transport1.036.701 MWH
Energy per ton and km58,8 Wh


Unambiguous winner is here the train. Even when a litre Diesel is only valued with 4 kWh, a big truck with 20 tons pay load and 40 litre/100km has here 80 Wh per ton and km. With empty return journeys and half loaded journeys, this becomes much worse.