Netherlands train

In the Netherlands, the NS railway company now powers its 1,200 electric trains with wind energy.

Boon: “We transport about 600,000 commuters every day, which generates 1.2 million train travels each day.”

Ton Boon is the spokesperson for NS. He says customers’ main concern is punctuality, not sustainability.

Boon: “But once they know that they have a sustainable train trip every day it makes them proud, and it really adds to the relevance of taking the train instead of the car.”

The energy comes from new wind farms in the Netherlands and surrounding countries – and it’s a lot. NS uses as much electricity as all Amsterdam residents combined, and its trains represent over 90 percent of commercial train travel in the country.

To offset the higher cost of renewable energy, NS will also reduce its energy consumption thirty-five percent.

Some of the savings will come from new, more efficient trains. And train operators are minimizing energy by braking more slowly and turning off lights and air conditioning when trains are not in use.

NS is on track to make train travel cleaner and more climate-friendly.

Reporting credit: Justyna Bicz/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: Courtesy of NS.

Diana Madson contributed regularly to Yale Climate Connections from 2014 to 2021. She enjoys exploring U.S.-based stories about unexpected and innovative solutions to climate change. In addition to her...