In the framework of a masters thesis written under the supervision of the Centre for Global Change and Sustainability (Binder 2011) mutual accessibility of several European capitals via night train was assessed. This thesis was motivated by the constantly rising level of traffic in an ever more connected EU. Traffic is responsible for over 25% of European greenhouse gas emissions. Of the 1.4 billion international journeys in the EU27, Switzerland and  Norway every year, around 210 million are business trips, of which 50% are flown, 42% taken via car and 8% via train (Binder 22).

By far the most climate friendly of these modes of transport is rail. The exact ratio of emissions of the various modes of transport to another depends on the distance travelled and the load factor (% of seats taken) as has been demonstrated by Chapman (2007):



The goal of the thesis was to investigate night train connections between various European capitals. The focus was on the accessibility on the basis of various reasonability criteria and on the available time-frame available for a meeting in various cities, assuming that participants travel via night train.

These results have been adapted and, on the basis of current timetables, connections from and to Vienna have been analyzed. On the basis of hypothetical meetings on January 17th 2013 in Vienna on the one hand, and in other European capitals with Vienna as the place of departure on the other, connections are depicted.



Binder, M. (2011): Klimafreundliche Arbeitsmobilität in Europa. Charakterisierung und Darstellung von Nachtzugverbindungen innerhalb Europas als Entscheidungshilfe für klimafreundliche Arbeitsmobilität. Vienna: Diplomarbeit.

Chapman, L. (2007): Transport and climate change: a review. Journal of Transport Geography. 15:5. 354-367

Contact: sebastian.helgenberger(at)