In another thread, there is mention of BA getting a grilling from the media and Greenpiece over their new Gatwick - Newquay service and how this is irresponsible in the light of current efforts to control CO2 emissions etc.
How about our government, let alone Greenpeace, get onto the case of some of our train operating companies? ....
SRB's Virgin is a prime example: In years gone by, pre-privatisation, trains which ran on electrified lines were, mainly, electric powered trains. Since privatisation, Virgin (one of the companies which opted to run somes of our train services) ordered and took delivery of 34 Pendelino diesel trains which they run on routes such as, for example, Glasgow to Plymouth. This route is approximately 518 miles of which nearly 300 miles is 'under the wires' (electrified). In days gone by, this service would've been operated using an electric engine from Glasgow to Birmingham then changed over to a deisel engine in Birmingham.
OK so these Voyagers are probably a lot greener than the old diesels but surely the decision to buy these 'go anywhere' push/pull type trains as opposed to the more conventional engines and coaches is based purely on cost and with little (if any) consideration for the environment.
The same applies to GNER who run (amongst others) services from Kings Cross (London) to Inverness (approx 573 miles) and Aberdeen (approx 523 miles). In both these instances, 393 miles of the route is electrified but both services are run using old diesel trains when they could be run as far as Edinburgh with an electric engine then swapped for a diesel (a redundant class 67 for those of you who know?) for the rest of the journey. (I travelled from Kings Cross to Leeds (186 miles) two weeks ago - the whole route is electrified yet the service was run by a 25 year old HST desiel train!).
It seems our government is unfairly over-targetting airlines when there are other organisations who need a little closer scrutiny too? Or, are the train operators, who appear to run services based purely on time and money (with little consideration for the environment), an 'inconvenient truth' of privatisation?