World energy consumption for land, sea, and air transport is analyzed. Unfortunately, from an energy point of view, railways provide only a relatively small proportion of the world's transport effort--about 17% of the revenue load-t-km operated in the western world. Because modern railways use energy relatively efficiently for the work they do--in spite of the substantial losses in the electrical transmission--railways consume only some 3% of the total energy used in transport. By contrast, road transport (which uses about 78% of the energy consumed in transport as a whole for the production of 16% of the load-t-km) and air transport (which uses about 12-1/2% of the total energy for 0.3% of the load-t-km)are wholly dependent on oil, as is shipping to complete the total. Each mode of transport is evaluated in terms of its efficiency in using energy; and suggestions are made as to what forms of public transport would provide the best use of energy for journeys of different lengths. The interesting point is made that, within economic limits, history has shown that the public prefers to limit travel time to four to five hours, a concept which can account for the loss in popularity of transcontinental rail travel and scheduled ocean voyages.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Allens (Clerkenwell), Limited

    39 High Street
    Wheathampstead, Herts AL4 8DG,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Gardner, G C
    • Hart, A B
    • Moffitt, R D
    • Wright, J K
  • Publication Date: 1975-6

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 38-45
  • Serial:
    • Energy Digest
    • Volume: 4
    • Issue Number: 3
    • Publisher: Allens (Clerkenwell), Limited

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00128897
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Engineering Index
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 4 2003 12:00AM