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Question For Europeans  
User currently offlineDeltaflyertoo From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 1745 posts, RR: 1
Posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1551 times:

Hey my fellow Europeon A Netters!

I have a question. Europe without a doubt has one of the BEST rail systems of anywhere in the world. However with insurgence of LCC like EasyJet, Ryan Air, etc... I was wondering what the popularity of rail vs. air has become in Europe for both business and pleasure...I.E. do most people fly from say Paris to Milan or Rome or Munich? Or is it common place to hear peeps getting a train for this...What about Londoners? Like lets say you want to go to York...or even up to Scotland...what is better, flying or the train?

I guess I would hate to see air take over train in Europe (or maybe it already has?) because its so efficient so I was just curious what you guys prefer....


7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21652 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1541 times:

We don't have one railway system, we've got several; And that is one of the reasons why people tend to fly between european nations but mostly take the trains within each country.

With increased integration (and increasing fuel prices) that may change...

The gigantic Gotthard transalpine tunnel project is one more step towards a tighter european rail integration, as was the channel tunnel between France and Britain.

User currently offlineSean377 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1225 posts, RR: 36
Reply 2, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1528 times:

I can't speak for my fellow Europeans on the main land, but here in the UK (best rail system in the world  confused  ), I'd say rail still has the upper hand for business travel, especially on the East Coast Main Line which serves my side of the UK. The benefit of train is that it takes you from City Centre to City Centre. If I want to fly from say, Newcastle to London, first I've got to get to the Airport, check-in in advance, get a flight to either Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted, then travel into Central London. The train journey of just under 3hrs would get me from door to door quicker and is more relaxing and is about the same price.

Having said all that, me, I'd choose to fly. Hey I love flying!  Wink

Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man... Landing is the first!
User currently offlinePdpsol From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1162 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1510 times:

In Spain, the Public Works Ministry is in the midst of a MASSIVE program to extend the high speed rail system [dubbed AVE for "alta velocidad española] throughout the country and into neighboring France and Portugal.

The objective is for all communities throughout mainland Spain to reach an AVE station within a 50 km radius. The program was initiated many years ago and its cost is in the tens of billions of Euro.

Service on the Madrid-Barcelona line currently reaches Lleida on the Catalan border and will extend to Barcelona sometime in 2007, and onto the French border sometime thereafter. Once the Madrid-Barcelona line reaches full service, it is expected to significantly reduce traffic on the popular "air shuttle" between both cities. This service, BTW, is a huge cash-cow for IB and will be gravely missed.

Other lines currently in construction include an Atlantic line to Galicia and Portugal in the Northwest, a Levant line to Valencia and an extension of the Andalucian line from Córdoba south to Algeciras [already in service].

Last year, Spain's state-owned rail company, RENFE, was separated from the state entity holding all of the nation's rail infrastructure, the Ministry of PW. The market for rail services is being opened to private competion in the near future. Several national construction firms are interested in offering rail services to the public.

Here in the US, on the other hand, our state-owned passenger rail company, AMTRAK, is permanently bankrupt, under capitalized and woefully incapable of financing sorely-needed capital investments to maintain current service levels.

The intercity rail market here in the US is not competitive with alternative modes of transport, specifically commericial air services.

User currently offlineSK A340 From Germany, joined Mar 2000, 845 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1489 times:

I hardly ever use the railroads for long distance travel, but I heard some time ago that all train service between Stockholm and Oslo has been cancelled. This is due to the many flights, both SAS and low cost carriers, available on that route. If you want to go there by train you have to go via Gothenburg or another city.


[Edited 2006-01-12 23:10:09]

User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12323 posts, RR: 32
Reply 5, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1463 times:

I'm going home in May, and I'll be staying in TRF most of the time, but I want to visit my friends in SVG. Well, train is so damn expensive, it's cheaper to fly. And its 45 min by plane, and 8-9 hours by train.

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
User currently offlineThorben From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1449 times:

I normally try to fly, it's cheaper and faster. Inside Germany the trains sometimes offer a good alternative, but then there is also the car. I took the train on a recent trip from Berlin to Bonn and back, because I had a tight schedule and the train station was a lot closer to my destination than the airport. Anyway, flying is better than using the train, most of time.

I'm not sure how efficient the train system really is. Sometimes you have to change trains 2-3 times on rather short routes.

User currently offlineTraveler_7 From Estonia, joined May 2000, 542 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1443 times:

Quoting Deltaflyertoo (Thread starter):
Europe without a doubt has one of the BEST rail systems of anywhere in the world.

unfortunately not in all parts of Europe  Sad

As to long distance trains I used it 3 times:
Oulu-Helsinki I had normal bad so it was nearly the same expensive as flight with some LCC-like company.
The train was nearly full in the summer.
Stuttgart-Paris cheaper compare to flight, train was nearly full.
Edinburgh-London Virgin Express. More expensive compare to LCC. Train was full from the middle of line.

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