Train riders might not actually have that much to lord over their jet-setting rivals as far as pollution goes, Scientific American reports. A new study shows that although planes emit three times more greenhouse gasses per passenger per mile than trains, the industrial emissions necessary to rail infrastructure makes the environmental damage equal.
On the East Coast, where the majority of electricity comes from coal, trains are a worse bet than planes if you’re into saving the environment. The study should not invite a crusade against rail travel, the lead author said, but consideration. “We’ve done a lot by going at the tailpipe of the car,” he said. “That’s good thing, but we should start looking beyond the tailpipe.”