Rail emissions

National statistics logo
Annual statistics covering electricity and diesel consumption of mainline passenger and freight operators in Great Britain and estimates of their associated CO2e emissions.

Details on how these statistics are compiled can be found in the latest statistical release. For information on any revisions, please see our Revisions Log.

Rail emissions data were previously combined into the Rail infrastructure, assets and environmental release.

Data and reports that include historic statistical releases on Rail infrastructure, assets & environmental can be found on the National Archives.

If you have any questions or feedback on these statistics, please contact rail.stats@orr.gov.uk


Latest statistical release

Rail emissions 2019-20
Rail emissions 2019-20

Date published: 05 Nov 2020
Date next published: TBC

Key results

  • For passenger trains, electricity usage increased by 5.3% and diesel usage increased by 1.5% compared to 2018-19. Over the same time period, passenger kilometres decreased by 1.3%.
  • The resulting CO2e emissions for passenger trains have fallen to 35.1g CO2e per passenger km. This is the lowest level since the comparable time series started in 2011-12.
  • The amount of diesel consumed by freight trains in 2019-20 has increased by 12.5% to 172 million litres. This is the highest figure since 2015-16, and the first time that diesel use increased year on year since 2015-16. Electricity usage fell by 6.3% to 70 million kWh.
  • The resulting CO2e emissions for freight trains have increased to 27.5g CO2e per tonne km. This is the highest level since the comparable time series started in 2011-12.