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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Social Studies, Economics, Engineering

Resource Type

  • Videos, 8 minutes, 25 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

The Trains That Killed an Airline - Italian HSR

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  • This video shows how high speed trains are competing with domestic air travel in Italy. 
  • Students will see a firsthand view of what is like to travel on one of Italy's high speed trains, which are better for the environment and more comfortable and convenient for passengers. 
Teaching Tips


  • The video contains labeled chapters or segments that make it easy to jump to a specific part of the video.
  • Students who live in places that do not have high-speed trains will find this insiders' view particularly interesting.
  • The video description offers links to articles that are mentioned in the video.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This video begins with an advertisement.
  • The video discusses train speeds in kilometers per hour, so students who are unfamiliar with the metric system may wish to convert the speeds to miles per hour.
  • The video does not explain the difference in carbon emissions between trains and airplanes.


  • Math classes could research the average speed for airplanes, high-speed trains, regular trains, and cars and practice calculating percentages (e.g., airplanes can travel x% faster than cars).
  • Economics classes can research how Italy's mix of state-owned and private-owned train companies impacts the railway industry.
  • Other resources on this topic include this article from NOAA about the the role aviation plays in climate change and this report on greenwashing in the aviation industry.
Scientist Notes
This video presents a valid case of switching to high-speed trains to save costs on air travel and reduce the carbon footprint from the transport sector. This is a case study in Italy and if replicated in other regions, it will reduce average CO2 levels globally from air transportation. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.11-12.3 Understand and evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
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