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9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, Engineering

Resource Types

  • Articles and Websites
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables

Regional Focus


Electric Trains

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  • This article discusses the climate change solution of electric trains since they alleviate the need to use land for roads and improve air quality by reducing fossil fuel combustion. 
  • The included data portrays the environmental and monetary benefits of replacing conventional diesel engines with electrified models and a discussion section centered on the growing trend to decarbonize transport.
Teaching Tips


  • The article presents the information logically and scientifically, so teachers can pause and discuss each section of the article.
  • This article will expand any discussion about transportation, human impact on the environment, or climate change, especially regarding the ecological impact of shipping freight via diesel trains.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have a prior understanding of carbon emissions and the importance of trains for travel and shipping.
  • Students should understand the metric system or have a conversion chart available since the information is in kilometers.
  • Teachers or students can share this article via social media.
  • Consider defining freight and what it means to shift freight from roads to rails for students before reading the article to prevent confusion.


  • A sidebar provides a call to action for individuals and a link to other solutions so English teachers can utilize this resource in a research unit about possible progress regarding the issue of climate change. 
  • The article mentions that most countries have a freight decarbonization goal, so social studies teachers can have students research the goals of the ten largest countries.
  • The resource includes links to three references, so teachers can have students create paragraphs and essays that include multiple sources.
Scientist Notes
This article discusses a study examining the costs and climate benefits of electric freight train adoption. The authors don't discuss the science behind decarbonization beyond changes in emissions and train operation costs. The article is organized like a scientific paper and is a concise example of how science reports are structured. The article includes resources. The information presented is accurate, and this resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-1. Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
      • HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
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