A “climate train” is taking passengers all the way from the Netherlands to Glasgow in time for COP26, as world leaders get ready to discuss how best the world can combat the climate crisis.
Delegates from the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Germany, youth activists and members of the European Parliament will travel on the cross-country train to the international climate change conference.
The idea for the climate train was brought by a partnership between Avanti West Coast, Eurostar, NS, ProRail and Youth for Sustainable Travel.
Organisers say the train is a much more climate-friendly way to arrive, with just one passenger’s carbon footprint from one flight between Amsterdam and London the same as seven Eurostar journeys.
Rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Our railways are one of the most sustainable ways for people to travel.
“As we host the world at COP26, I’m proud that our railway is playing its part in the fight against climate change.
“We are committed to achieving a net-zero rail network by 2050, ensuring our railways continue to play a pivotal role in enabling greener, cleaner journeys for passengers.”
The train is travelling between Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Brussels and London before reaching its destination in Glasgow.
On arrival at London St Pancras, the passengers will make their way to Euston Station through London’s first “wellbeing walk”, an alternative walking route which aims to avoid high levels of pollution on the busier roads.
Rail partners across continental Europe have signed a message to COP26, pledging to remain the most sustainable form of motorised transport.
They have also called for more support for international rail routes so they can accelerate growth in sustainable travel.
The launch of the train comes as youth climate activist Greta Thunberg makes her way to Glasgow from Euston on for the summit.
She was seen on a platform waiting for a different train, carrying a rucksack.
Ms Thunberg attended a climate change protest outside Standard Chartered’s headquarters in London on Friday, joining activists to chant: “We are unstoppable, another world is possible” and “What do we want? Climate justice. When do we want it? Now.”
In a preview for his BBC One show on Sunday, Andrew Marr asked Ms Thunberg if she had been invited to COP26, and she responded: “I don’t know. It’s very unclear. Not officially.
“I think that many people might be scared that if they invite too many radical young people, then that might make them look bad.”