The importance of changing the way employees travel

With transport accounting for 20% of global carbon dioxide emissions and rail amounting to an 80% reduction in emissions compared to cars and an 84% reduction compared to domestic flights, the opportunity to decarbonise the transport sector by making rail more attractive is enormous.

The trend for companies to reduce their carbon footprint is leading some to implement rail-first travel policies, which in turn is making Travel Management Companies think about how they can offer a better rail proposition to their clients.

The opportunity

The current climate emergency is well recognised by not only society, but businesses across the globe. In fact, here in the UK, nearly a third of the largest businesses have pledged to eliminate their contribution to carbon emissions by 2050.

However, while external commitments are being made to prioritise sustainability, our research shows these pledges have failed to translate into real action.


Reduced emissions by taking the train instead of the car.


Reduction compared to domestic flights

The challenge for Travellers

But why is the shift towards greener corporate travel proving so difficult?

The main challenge for travellers seems to be difficulty when navigating rail travel compared to other modes.

36% cited that they had not been offered a rail option when travelling for work in Europe

33% cited cost

27% cited travel time

26% cited convenience

17% cited difficulty comparing air travel routes with rail travel routes in the booking system

The challenge for Travel Management Companies

There are three main challenges that Travel Management Companies face when retailing rail effectively.

Dev Effort- Every carrier's API is unique and 1 rail operator API requires 4 developers for 6-12 months

Licensing Rights- Securing licences directly is complex so travellers end up booking directly with rail carriers

Low User Adoption- Securing licences directly is complex so travellers end up booking directly with rail carriers

Despite the challenges, many companies have implemented rail-first travel policies...

The Solution


In order to help facilitate this shift, SilverRail is equipping rail operators and travel agencies with the technology necessary to overcome these challenges


Our Single API aggregates and normalises content, dramatically reducing dev effort for clients


We've secured sub-licensing rights with the majority of carrier partners


We integrate deeply, delivering parity to carrier websites where possible


We offer smart pricing tools which allow firms to easily find best value fares


Our API enables relevant rail alternatives to be displayed beside every flight option

The Future

With 54% saying that their organisation is more concerned with saving money than choosing environmentally sustainable travel options and 41% perceiving a disparity between what their organisation does versus what it says it does- with this sentiment rising to 56% when looking at the Gem Z (18-24), it is clear that sustainable travel is on the employee radar. Our research shows that sustainable travel has become embedded within employee satisfaction and that an organisation's ability to carry out their sustainable travel promises influences whether they are seen in a positive or negative light.


Share With a Friend

Add the Train Over Plane Interactive Map to Your Website

Need to sell rail easily?

At SilverRail, we’re on a mission to make rail easy for travellers, carriers and agencies.

We develop technology to help rail operators and travel agencies transform how they serve customers and run their business.

Add your details below to learn more about our green rail solutions and visions for the future of travel

To read how we collect and process data, please read our Privacy Policy.