Ever since high school, I’ve strived to make the world a better place. I decided to study Environmental Sciences in Wageningen, I started work for a Dutch environmental NGO called Natuur&Milieu (nature and environment). My job is to help make transport sustainable: more energy-efficient, electric where possible, quiet, clean, and space-efficient (the latter being a particular challenge in the densely populated Netherlands).
Which is why I love train travel: it’s energy-efficient, reliable, comfortable, and has the capacity to move lots of people fast and safely. When travelling within my country, the Netherlands, that is. As soon as your travels take you abroad, things get complicated and slow. And the lack of service, information and guarantees is great for unplanned and adventurous holiday travel, but horrible when you have someplace to get to on a schedule.
So it’s no wonder most people take the easy way through the skies to travel across Europe. The catch is, air travel is a major (and growing) source of CO2-emissions, causing the climate change currently unhinging weather patterns and livelihoods across the planet.
Work requires me to travel across Europe on a regular basis, being a board member of the excellent European sustainable transport campaigners of Transport & Environment. So obviously, when our next board meeting was announced to be in Bratislava, I went about to plan my trip there by train. It's a pretty straightforward trip. What could possibly go wrong?
I'll be posting a series of blogs about my trip and lessons learned here on Train2eu.org.
Even environmentalists compromise (Bratislava part 2)