Germany’s cut price rail ticket comes to an end and saves tonnes of CO2

Barry White

Germany summer train fares reduction experiment finished on 31 August. Introduced on 1 June, the three month project to reduce car journeys, pollution and reduce curb imports of Russian oil has been judged a success, with about 1.8m tonnes of CO2 emissions being saved, although not all experts agree on this figure. The emissions saved were the equivalent to the powering of 350,000 homes.

About 52m tickets priced at 9 euros (£7.50) per month were sold, a fifth of them to people who did not usually use public transport. They gave unlimited travel on regional rail networks, trams and buses.

The BBC web site reports ( that despite many calls for an extension, no replacement scheme is expected to come as cheap as the one enjoyed this summer, which has disappointed many.

Meanwhile in Spain 1 September saw the introduction of free travel across certain parts of the state-owned rail-network, Renfe, to the end of the year. The scheme was launched to help Spaniards with the soaring cost of living. This new arrangement is in addition to a policy announced in June when the central government agreed a 30% discount on all public transport, including metros, buses and trams.

The 100% rail discounts will apply to multi-trip ticket journeys on cercanías (commuter services) and media distancia, or medium-distance routes (less than 300km). The measure is mainly aimed at Spanish season ticket holders, but tourists could take advantage of it if they bought multi-journey tickets (and see:,

Here, Northern Rail is selling advance tickets for just £1 (see: Single tickets are available for travel between 6 September and 20 October 2022.The scheme is available on select, direct routes only and children travel half price so they can go for 50p (with under 5s free).

The £1 tickets are on a first come first served basis, must be booked seven days in advance of travel and are limited to online purchases. Some peak time and other services are not included. To find out more go to:

Stop Press: Government has announced today (3 September) that it will provide up to £60 million from January to March next year, to help bus operators to cap single adult fares at £2 per journey. More at:

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