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airhansa
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How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:05 am

We're seeing some efforts by European governments to reduce short haul air travel and moving PAX onto high speed railways. Accordingly, European rail travelers will tolerate business journeys of up to four hours and leisure journeys of up to siz hours. Germany is expected to invest nearly $100 billion into its high speed rail network in the next ten years. Around 800 new high speed trains will be added in Spain, France, Germany and Italy alone. It is thought that air travel in Europe could stagnate or even fall in the next decade. http://www.euractiv.com/section/railway ... -dividend/

In the US, the one corridor that I can see increase is the North-East area served by the Acela Express. It took over a large share of the aviation market after 911 and still holds a substantial share of that market. It will recently receive new high speed trains manufactured by French train maker Alstom which can reach speeds of upto 300 km/h, though the tracks in the north-east are too poor quality to sustain anywhere near those speeds. I wonder if the Coronavirus might spur more investment into the rail tracks?

Analysis from UBS in the Japan Times expects there to be a significant shift from air travel to rail travel in Europe and China, with short haul routes entirely disappearing. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/0 ... s-way-fly/
 
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Francoflier
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:16 am

This pandemic will do nothing to push people onto trains. You are as likely to catch a bug from a fellow pax on a train as you are to catch it on a plane.

That some nations want to push for a greener economic recovery after Covid is another matter altogether, but not directly health related (well, not virus related at least).

My 2 cents: nothing will change. People will forget this and will go back to our old ways in short order.
Everyone loves to overdramatize and say everything will change after a significant global event but at the end of the day, nothing really does, and if it does, its progressive and never in the way we imagine.

We, as a society, are not good at planning for the future, we are mostly reactive in nature.
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Aesma
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:32 am

The move to reduce short haul flights was already ongoing in Europe so in a way Francoflier is right, it isn't done because of COVID19. It's still happening though.

As for what people "tolerate", when I was a kid there were less TGV lines in France, yet I took the train more often, sometimes night trains to go to Italy. My mother used to go to Italy with my grandparents by putting the car onto a train that would go through tunnels in the Alps, before road tunnels opened.

This happened not because there was less short haul air travel, although there was indeed much less, but because it was much more expensive.

The EU commission is discussing a 33 cents tax on every litre of kerozene that would not be waived for airlines like now, that might change the economics of quite a few routes.
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giblets
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:41 am

Yes, apparently the deal between Air France and the Government has (as I understand it), banned the airlines competing with High Speed rail where there is a high speed rail route under 2.5hrs (ie Paris: Rennes, Nantes, Bordeaux and Lyon), although this would still allow transfer traffic (not sure how the airlines could support many of these routes if they ban point to point travel).

If AF have to drop their connections (or reduce frequency), this could be a big boost to other EU airlines long haul routes. Suspect this will mostly boost KLM, being SKyteam, however suspect the big benefit to many travellers is using KLM when AF don't have an option, if AF is just not an option any time, then people may be tempted by other alliances. IF this is the case, the big winner could be BA, as on some routes like BDX, as they will be presumably switching from LGW to LHR, opening a huge amount of transfer options.




https://www.bfmtv.com/economie/air-fran ... 04372.html
edit: report in English: https://www.businesstraveller.com/busin ... h-the-tgv/
Last edited by giblets on Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jomar777
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:42 am

The move from Short Haul to trains, is non-related to COVID19. It is related to the amount of people you can transport and environmental reasons alone (less emissions). There's the added convenience where passengers can depart and arrive at the centre of their destinations rather than take some sort of shuttle (which a lot of cases is a train) before and/or after a flight. Specifically in Europe, this is a long trend which has started quite decades ago. To travel between London and Paris, for example, you would be hard done to beat the Eurostar with a plane unless you already started at a check-in desk at Heathrow for example (even though the flight alone to CDG is only 50 minutes long sometimes).
However, the caveat is that the main effect will come into the roads (reduction of car travel) rather than flights alone. This is because, not only the costs of implementation, but also the maintenance of the rail network is really cash hungry pushing up prices of tickets exponentially mainly where the demand is high - making flights the cheaper option.
Look no further than Brazil, for example - the 7th biggest economy in the world. They gave up their railways (for passengers...) years and years ago and even with heavy government involvement and subsidies, they cannot provide any link (high speed or not) between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro which maintain one of the busiest Air Bridges in the World.
US is another example - the biggest Economy in the World currently cannot find even a business case for cross country High Speed Rail relying only where Acela currently is. The Acela itself is great but compared to their European counterparts (even the Russian SAPSAN) is a bit of a joke. Not bad for them (Acela) but just shows just far the USA would have to go to catch up (and currenly how far is willing to do so...).
 
flyjay123
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:19 am

With Airfares from as low as £9.99, it won't shift. Train travel is expensive. Its often cheaper to fly from Scotland to London via European city than it is to take a direct train service.
 
davidjohnson6
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:27 am

£9.99 fares on London-Scotland are nowhere near as common as they used to be 10 years ago. Once you do a fair comparison of train v rail (ie air ticket booked 1 month in advance is not compared to rail ticket booked 1 hour in advance), train is not so expensive
 
EWRandMDW
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:14 am

In the US and possibly Canada I don't think intercity rail travel will change that much. For one thing, the distances between many city pairs is just too great, even between those considered "short haul". For example, Chicago and St. Louis are approximately 300 miles (~484 km) apart. There is some rail service via Amtrak and it has been upgraded to allow for higher speeds. But the trip still requires about 5 1/2 hours each way. The tracks used by intercity passenger trains, with very few exceptions, are owned by freight railroads and to them passenger trains are an irritation. After WW2 the US began an accelerated highway building program which made cars the choice for personal travel. Going between say New York and Chicago? The reasonable choice is to fly. A car trip is about 12-13 hours (I've done it) and by train is even longer. There just isn't enough demand for multiple daily trains with each able to carry up to about 1000 passengers when several flights per day at about 175 passengers per flight will do the same thing with greater efficiency. And now there may be less demand even for air travel as work-from-home and video conferencing become more accepted.
 
Maavomm
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:20 am

airhansa wrote:
We're seeing some efforts by European governments to reduce short haul air travel and moving PAX onto high speed railways. Accordingly, European rail travelers will tolerate business journeys of up to four hours and leisure journeys of up to siz hours. Germany is expected to invest nearly $100 billion into its high speed rail network in the next ten years. Around 800 new high speed trains will be added in Spain, France, Germany and Italy alone. It is thought that air travel in Europe could stagnate or even fall in the next decade. http://www.euractiv.com/section/railway ... -dividend/

In the US, the one corridor that I can see increase is the North-East area served by the Acela Express. It took over a large share of the aviation market after 911 and still holds a substantial share of that market. It will recently receive new high speed trains manufactured by French train maker Alstom which can reach speeds of upto 300 km/h, though the tracks in the north-east are too poor quality to sustain anywhere near those speeds. I wonder if the Coronavirus might spur more investment into the rail tracks?

Analysis from UBS in the Japan Times expects there to be a significant shift from air travel to rail travel in Europe and China, with short haul routes entirely disappearing. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/0 ... s-way-fly/


I do not think that AMTRAK is profitable enough to provide decent competition to air travel. Avelia Liberty is a great upgrade on the ageing Acela express .But upgrading the NE corridor rail would also be very expensive and time-consuming. There is little value in upgrading trainsets without having signalling and rail upgrades. In Europe however, there is a lot of potential in integrating the rail and air sectors, as there is already established connectivity with airport stations on high speed lines(such as in Frankfurt and Amsterdam). By shifting business travellers onto trains and having systems for them to conveniently board flights after alighting from a train would reduce dependency on 'feeder' flights just for the sake of transit. EU politicians can then put their claim on reducing global warming. France is complicated, as reducing domestic flights with the issue of the ever-increasing protests by railway workers may be detrimental.
Certain rail services, however are at a risk, like the Eurostar. Flights from Paris to London may quickly resume once the virus gets under 'decent levels of control' and this might affect passenger load levels on Eurostar. Services may even permanently reduce, due to Brexit.
I feel that having competition on both air and rail connectivity would help recovery much better than just one mode of service.
 
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lugie
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:34 am

Jomar777 wrote:
The move from Short Haul to trains, is non-related to COVID19. It is related to the amount of people you can transport and environmental reasons alone (less emissions). There's the added convenience where passengers can depart and arrive at the centre of their destinations rather than take some sort of shuttle (which a lot of cases is a train) before and/or after a flight. Specifically in Europe, this is a long trend which has started quite decades ago. To travel between London and Paris, for example, you would be hard done to beat the Eurostar with a plane unless you already started at a check-in desk at Heathrow for example (even though the flight alone to CDG is only 50 minutes long sometimes).
However, the caveat is that the main effect will come into the roads (reduction of car travel) rather than flights alone. This is because, not only the costs of implementation, but also the maintenance of the rail network is really cash hungry pushing up prices of tickets exponentially mainly where the demand is high - making flights the cheaper option


While I agree that the modal change from air travel to high-speed rail on sectors of up to 400-600km has been ongoing for a while (for example one of the busiest air shuttles in Europe, Madrid - Barcelona got absolutely decimated when the HS line was completed in 2008), the COVID situation will likely prove as a pivotal point in many cases.

The situation is unique: The climate change debate is (or was until Corona started dominating all public debates) hotter than ever, airlines are going bankrupt left and right and those that want to avoid that need government assistance.
And apparently there's willingness (at least in some countries) to tie such assistance to conditions aimed at reducing short-haul flying in favor of HS rail connections. France obviously is a big leader here but I can see change following in the future.

More and more routes in Europe become viable by train (Frankfurt to Paris is probably another, takes around 3:45hr city-to-city by train) and if governments start subsidizing rail to make it more financially competitive, this could spell the end for a decently large number of shorter flights.

I would guess that in a few years not a lot sub-500km flights will remain save for those that cross larger bodies of water.
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MIflyer12
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:44 am

airhansa wrote:
In the US, the one corridor that I can see increase is the North-East area served by the Acela Express. It took over a large share of the aviation market after 911 and still holds a substantial share of that market. It will recently receive new high speed trains manufactured by French train maker Alstom which can reach speeds of upto 300 km/h, though the tracks in the north-east are too poor quality to sustain anywhere near those speeds. I wonder if the Coronavirus might spur more investment into the rail tracks?


Rebuilding the Northeast Corridor for higher rail speeds is a decade-long, $40 Billion project - almost none of which has been appropriated.

Amtrak carries more than 12 million passengers a year in the corridor that accounts for nearly 40 percent of the railroad’s traffic nationwide. It is spending about $700 million annually to maintain and upgrade the corridor but has long-term needs of more than $30 billion as it seeks to introduce next-generation higher speed service by 2040.

The biggest immediate need is the “Gateway project” that would build a $13 billion rail tunnel under the Hudson River, replace the Portal North Bridge in New Jersey - a source of many trains delays - and rebuild the North River Tunnel that connects New Jersey and Penn Station

an 1873 Baltimore rail tunnel with water infiltration issues that will cost $4.5 billion to replace

the 1906 Susquehanna River Bridge whose replacement is estimated to cost $1.7 billion


...

Even then, the Acela passenger count isn't a meaningful fraction of total U.S. air travel. California's project might have moved the needed a bit but that isn't going to get built in full - and trains within the Central Valley that fail to connect LAX and SJC/SFO are utterly worthless.
 
LucaDiMontanari
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Mon Jun 08, 2020 11:53 am

giblets wrote:
Yes, apparently the deal between Air France and the Government has (as I understand it), banned the airlines competing with High Speed rail where there is a high speed rail route under 2.5hrs (ie Paris: Rennes, Nantes, Bordeaux and Lyon), although this would still allow transfer traffic (not sure how the airlines could support many of these routes if they ban point to point travel).


That's the point: it already is almost based solely on connecting traffic rigth now. No one sane takes a plane from say Lyon to Paris as a P2P traveler, so AF would not be affected that much. There are more such routes in Europe, that are already north of 95% transfer passengers by now, think of DUS-FRA, NUE-MUC or MIL-ZRH. What a good railway connection can do is best spotted at BSL/MLH-PAR: before the opening of the LGV Est européenne, there were four daily AF flights to CDG and another three/four to Orly with A319/A320 equipment plus two daily Easyjets. After the opening of the new railway line in 2007 and thus lowering the travel time from Basle to Paris to just shy above three hours, flights are down to average two or three daily to CDG and two to ORY using nothing larger than an E90 (usually E70/ATR72). And Easyjet went straight out without even trying.

And if there is a market, then they may switch to Transavia as replacement - french government forbid AF to fly domestic passengers, but will be unable to do so to a foreign company. Transavia is ready to rumble, the passengers stay in the Airline Group and AF can get rid off some expensive and strike prone mainline personel under the the banner of "being more ecological"... what they did is actually greenwashing at ist best :mad:
 
williaminsd
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Mon Jun 08, 2020 12:59 pm

It won't...

And any alleged, significant "shift" from air to rail in the United States is fantasy...
Last edited by williaminsd on Mon Jun 08, 2020 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Miamiairport
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Mon Jun 08, 2020 1:01 pm

In the US nada. High speed trains will never get built here. Health wise I'd rather be on a plane than a train.
 
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FabDiva
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Mon Jun 08, 2020 1:55 pm

davidjohnson6 wrote:
£9.99 fares on London-Scotland are nowhere near as common as they used to be 10 years ago. Once you do a fair comparison of train v rail (ie air ticket booked 1 month in advance is not compared to rail ticket booked 1 hour in advance), train is not so expensive


Indeed and given UK APD is £12 that £9.99 fare is basically a loss leader and isn't exactly sustainable. There are people who use the £9.99 Ryanair fare dumping in November to claim going by Berlin is cheaper but IIRC the direct train was still under £50.

That said secondary links in the UK by rail are often overcrowded and as a result priced fairly high, for example SW England to Scotland you'd be mad to take the train. The secondary routes need some love and increased capacity, but as they are subsidised the government isn't keen on a new train order. It looks like the plan is to shift the Class 221 and 222 fleets* from the West Coast and Midland routes to cross country when those lines get new build trains in 2022 onwards. I also suspect the eventual goal will be to route passengers via HS2 (though there will be no through running from the SW)

*Aka the Voyager and Meridan high speed DMUs
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Mon Jun 08, 2020 2:40 pm

Epidemic safety, train versus plane. It is in most cases easier to maintain social distancing on a train trip versus a plane. Seating is 4 abreast, and upwards of 40 inch pitch. (subways and light rails another matter!). Duration of exposure, for a few hundred miles a train trip probably less time close to someone, thousand miles(?) and up, planes come out ahead. Airliner ventilation may have a technical edge at this point, although a train being at ground level could be designed to be superior. Cruise ships may need to be redesigned from the keel up to provide equivalently safe ventilation.

Driving of course involves the least exposure. Level 5 autonomous driving, likely coming first on freeways, will be a formidable competitor to both.
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xxcr
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:32 pm

Miamiairport wrote:
In the US nada. High speed trains will never get built here. Health wise I'd rather be on a plane than a train.


i was going to say the same! Trains in the US are behind compared to Asia and Europe. In the US, i feel a lot safer being on a plane....Asia, it depends which country. Europe, im fine with either train or plane.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:35 pm

This is what you do if you want to cut short-haul plane travel: tax it.

The Austrian government, which includes the Greens, required Austrian to halve its carbon emissions by 2030. The government will also introduce a tax of 30 euros on flights of up to 350 km (217 miles) for all airlines, as well as a minimum ticket price of 40 euros, the person said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN23F1EN
 
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lightsaber
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:40 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
This is what you do if you want to cut short-haul plane travel: tax it.

The Austrian government, which includes the Greens, required Austrian to halve its carbon emissions by 2030. The government will also introduce a tax of 30 euros on flights of up to 350 km (217 miles) for all airlines, as well as a minimum ticket price of 40 euros, the person said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN23F1EN

That is an interesting approach. I wonder what all the unintended consequences are?

In the US, worsening TSA times just killed a majority of air travel below 250 miles.

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slcdeltarumd11
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:47 pm

Where the infustructure exists Americans will use trains and prefer them. Problem is we don't want to invest in it. Shorter distances if trains made even decent time they would take over. Problem is that doesn't exist in most markets so planes are the only option other then driving.

Long distances planes will always win, America is just too large.
 
airhansa
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:49 am

FabDiva wrote:
davidjohnson6 wrote:
£9.99 fares on London-Scotland are nowhere near as common as they used to be 10 years ago. Once you do a fair comparison of train v rail (ie air ticket booked 1 month in advance is not compared to rail ticket booked 1 hour in advance), train is not so expensive


Indeed and given UK APD is £12 that £9.99 fare is basically a loss leader and isn't exactly sustainable. There are people who use the £9.99 Ryanair fare dumping in November to claim going by Berlin is cheaper but IIRC the direct train was still under £50.

That said secondary links in the UK by rail are often overcrowded and as a result priced fairly high, for example SW England to Scotland you'd be mad to take the train. The secondary routes need some love and increased capacity, but as they are subsidised the government isn't keen on a new train order. It looks like the plan is to shift the Class 221 and 222 fleets* from the West Coast and Midland routes to cross country when those lines get new build trains in 2022 onwards. I also suspect the eventual goal will be to route passengers via HS2 (though there will be no through running from the SW)

*Aka the Voyager and Meridan high speed DMUs


It depends. A lot of people in suburban Europe are very used to taking public transportation and are likely to choose public transport to get to the airport. If you're taking a train all the way to the airport to interchange to a plane, you may as well take a train into the city (often more direct) and interchange onto another train to where ever you want to go.
 
planecane
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:40 am

slcdeltarumd11 wrote:
Where the infustructure exists Americans will use trains and prefer them. Problem is we don't want to invest in it. Shorter distances if trains made even decent time they would take over. Problem is that doesn't exist in most markets so planes are the only option other then driving.

Long distances planes will always win, America is just too large.

I'd like to know what survey led you to this conclusion. Americans would prefer trains where the door to door time is either less than or slightly more than a flight AND the train is cheaper.

In reality you'd find that most routes that a train would beat a plane, most Americans would choose to drive. The exception being the northeast corridor where the traffic is horrible.
 
Sokes
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:30 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
The biggest immediate need is the “Gateway project” that would build a $13 billion rail tunnel under the Hudson River, replace the Portal North Bridge in New Jersey - a source of many trains delays - and rebuild the North River Tunnel that connects New Jersey and Penn Station

an 1873 Baltimore rail tunnel with water infiltration issues that will cost $4.5 billion to replace

the 1906 Susquehanna River Bridge whose replacement is estimated to cost $1.7 billion

You are a strange superpower. I wonder what somebody from Switzerland (8,5 million inhabitants) had to say?
I guess it has to do with lobby groups. When the Green Party came to power in Germany they focused on rail container terminals. Compared to high speed rail they are dirt cheap. Why wasn't it done earlier? The car and truck lobby just didn't have a grip on the Green Party. Conservative party members must have liked what they saw, for that policy continued when the Green party was out of power. I assume there are similar lobbies in the US.

I believe cost estimates for rail in the US don't show a true picture. The industry would have to be built first, and that's expensive to do. Buy all new machines, train labor, learning mistakes...
Anybody in the US knows how to design and build a railway station where several lines cross? I don't say US lacks the brain. Building a stealth fighter is probably far more difficult. I just mean to say that the knowledge is probably not there.
The first five B787 weren't exactly cheap either.
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upperdeckfan
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:04 pm

In Europe the shift toward rail transportation occurred many years ago but it has been mostly focused on the large corridors linking major markets such as MAD-BCN, AMS-BRU-PAR, PAR-LON, or FRA-DUS. Flight offer linking these markets has been shrinking for long now and overall air traffic have gone up as the LCC model grows up, more people travelling for leisure than ever and trains are not an option to get to most of the large tourist spots in the continent.

Covid won't bring a change on that pattern. Flying will continue to be cheaper than a train on a per km/mile basis, and on top of that a plane will keep getting you anywhere while railroads will always have limited coverage.
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airhansa
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:29 pm

upperdeckfan wrote:
In Europe the shift toward rail transportation occurred many years ago but it has been mostly focused on the large corridors linking major markets such as MAD-BCN, AMS-BRU-PAR, PAR-LON, or FRA-DUS. Flight offer linking these markets has been shrinking for long now and overall air traffic have gone up as the LCC model grows up, more people travelling for leisure than ever and trains are not an option to get to most of the large tourist spots in the continent.

Covid won't bring a change on that pattern. Flying will continue to be cheaper than a train on a per km/mile basis, and on top of that a plane will keep getting you anywhere while railroads will always have limited coverage.


The Shinkansen successfully managed to fight off low-cost airlines in Japan by introducing new lower fares (on trains that still run at 300kmph). TGV is doing something similar with their OuiGo trains in France (that depart from the Disneyland Paris station rather than Central Paris).

Why airlines will still be king is in Northern Europe and the British Isles, due to geographic limitations to overland travel (by any means), but their purpose for travel within Great Britain and within Ireland may be diminished. For the Nordics, there might be a possibility of linking up Denmark with Southern Sweden and Oslo by HSR, but the rest of Scandinavia can only be reached by air.
 
upperdeckfan
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Re: How will coronavirus impact the shift from air to rail travel?

Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:15 am

airhansa wrote:
upperdeckfan wrote:
In Europe the shift toward rail transportation occurred many years ago but it has been mostly focused on the large corridors linking major markets such as MAD-BCN, AMS-BRU-PAR, PAR-LON, or FRA-DUS. Flight offer linking these markets has been shrinking for long now and overall air traffic have gone up as the LCC model grows up, more people travelling for leisure than ever and trains are not an option to get to most of the large tourist spots in the continent.

Covid won't bring a change on that pattern. Flying will continue to be cheaper than a train on a per km/mile basis, and on top of that a plane will keep getting you anywhere while railroads will always have limited coverage.


The Shinkansen successfully managed to fight off low-cost airlines in Japan by introducing new lower fares (on trains that still run at 300kmph). TGV is doing something similar with their OuiGo trains in France (that depart from the Disneyland Paris station rather than Central Paris).

Why airlines will still be king is in Northern Europe and the British Isles, due to geographic limitations to overland travel (by any means), but their purpose for travel within Great Britain and within Ireland may be diminished. For the Nordics, there might be a possibility of linking up Denmark with Southern Sweden and Oslo by HSR, but the rest of Scandinavia can only be reached by air.


Japan, and specifically Honshu - where the largest cities are - is not comparable with the EU in geographical terms. Leisure and business traffic across the EU will stay in the air except for the type of corridors I mentioned in my first post. Rail travel isn't an option for a tourist from Germany going to Southern Spain or Italy, or a bussines person from Rome going to a meeting in Amsterdam, or a government official going to Brussels from Lisbon or from Warsaw.

When a true HS link between Madrid and Paris is finished - now it need a transfer in Barcelona - it will take 8,5 hours. Currently, Barcelona-Paris is 6,5 hours. Difficult to compete with air travel even with similar fares.
748,744,742,741,772,773,762,763,
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752, 722, 717,74M,DC10,DC9,M82,
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