Making your journey even greener

Caring for the environment around us

Low Carbon Travel

TransPennine Express has already taken steps towards becoming greener and is on track to reduce carbon emissions by 30 per cent per vehicle kilometre by April 2023. Its Nova train fleet, which includes bi-mode and electric trains, helps reduce passengers’ CO2 by 77 per cent compared to travelling by an average car.

TransPennine Express connects people and provides passenger rail services across the North of England and into Scotland. Travelling by rail is a low carbon option, and when you travel with us you are reducing carbon emissions by 77 per cent compared to travelling by car. We are working to further reduce carbon emissions and are setting Science Based Targets to align to the Paris Agreement and limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees and will reach net zero carbon emissions before 2050.

We have a critical role to play in helping the UK achieve de-carbonisation targets. As a responsible business, we have clear goals for managing and reducing our carbon emissions and environmental impact.  

In recent years, as we have increased our services and our capacity on-board trains, we have been able to increase the journeys we provide, the number of trains we run and the total distance we carry our passengers. This helps support the shift to more journeys by train than by road and air travel, reducing broader transport emissions across the UK.

Despite increasing our service, our carbon emissions have been reducing. This is partly thanks to our Nova 1 bi-mode trains, which use diesel when there are no wires but can run on electricity when running under wires. We run on a lot of partially electrified routes and this means we can make part of these journeys using electricity, which has a lower carbon impact than diesel, where otherwise we would run exclusively on diesel for these journeys.

Environmental Certification
Our Energy and Environmental Management Systems are certified to ISO 50001 and ISO 14001. Our energy use can be broken down into “traction” and “non-traction”. Traction refers to the energy consumed to drive our trains, which is our main operation. Non-traction includes the energy to light, power and heat our stations and offices.

Our passengers generate a considerable amount of waste which we remove from our trains and stations. In recent years we have increased our recycling rates from 36% to 64%. We have a target to increase our recycling to 65% this year. To do this, we are working with station tenants, cleaners and colleagues and will be reintroducing manual segregation at our largest waste generating location. Any waste that we can’t recycle is sent to Energy From Waste to generate electricity. We continue to send zero waste to landfill.

We have long standing water meters at five of our stations. We have recently added smart meters to all except one of our remaining stations which enables us to monitor consumption, identify and fix leaks. We will be installing water fountains across our stations, so that customers can refill water bottles, making it easier and cheaper to stay hydrated and reducing plastic waste.

Our total Scope 1 and 2 carbon footprint in 2020/21 financial year was 273,707 tCO2e (tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent). 88% of our emissions come from diesel consumed by our trains and a further 10% coming from our electric trains.

Our traction energy and diesel consumption are metered and provided to us by Network Rail and the depots where we refuel the trains. Our carbon footprint is independently verified by Groundwork. Pre-pandemic our carbon footprint has reduced by 12% or 13,000 CO2e since our baseline financial year 2015/2016. Our carbon per passenger km has also reduced over this time, by 13%. 

The rail industry is committed to helping everyone travel in greener ways and with lower carbon emissions. We’re supporting the new We Mean Green campaign which explains how and why we’re helping the UK to go greener. Find out more at

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