Here are some of the reasons why you should choose rail travel over air travel in Europe and Japan:
Ease of Access. Nearly every city in Europe has a station and trains ply between them at multiple times in a day. Moreover, look at where the train stations are located and you will see that almost all of them are located in the city centre. This implies that you just need a short cab or bus ride to arrive at the station (if not close enough to walk). In Florence and Venice we just took our luggage and walked to the train station like others did since it was just a 2 minute walk.
When to Choose Rail For India Travel? Photo Gallery
Click on Photos for Next When to Choose Rail For India Travel? Gallery Images
Save Money & Time. In Europe and Japan, trains are much faster than driving a car or riding on a bus, since they travel at speeds in excess of 200 Km/hr with some of them achieving the top speed of about 350 Kms/hr. Moreover, because of central location of the train stations, it saves you the bother of arriving at the airport 1.5 hours early for check-in. Add the journey time and expenses in a taxi ride to the airport and you can see that this centrality of location will save you about 2-3 hours of time and the high cost of taxi. In Europe and Japan, airports are often located far outside the cities. So let us consider that you are travelling from say London to Paris and you are feeling upbeat about that really great deal of Rs. 3000 (per ticket) on a Low Cost Carrier (LCC). Now add the taxi ride to London Luton airport (and not Heathrow) from the hotel which will cost you anything above Rs. 7000 and will take you an hour and a half to reach! Then again from Paris airport to the hotel, you will cough up anything between 7000 and 8000 Rupees! But, if you take the train, you simply take a bus / short cab ride to the station. Then the train ticket is priced at Rs. 5000 onwards for a high-speed Eurostar which will get you from London to Paris in 2.5 hours! So, most likely you will arrive before the flight you planned to take! If you travel by night, the cost is even lesser – about 1/3rd of Eurostar. For years now, travellers in Europe have used Eurail Passes as the way to explore Europe on a budget. You can get passes in terms of days and countries you will visit. Do you remember Shah Rukh and Kajol in DDLJ? If you want to travel in extra comfort, try the first class. Travelling overnight is also a good way to save money on hotel accommodation. You can sleep comfortably in the reclining seats in most railway carriages today. Or, you may consider sleeping compartments (berths in India). These will cost extra and usually have to be reserved in advance, but you get privacy and facilities like bed linen and blankets and possibly even beverages and meals. All while saving on your hotel bill and travelling.
No Inconvenience. Here you simply arrive minutes before and board your train – no check-in, no security checks and you can get your own food if you like. Also, if you want to stretch your legs and go around for a stroll, you can do that too. Trains rarely suffer from weather delays and wont give you jet lag. Its easier to care for small kids on a train than on a flight or a road trip.
Pleasure. The seats are as comfortable as on an aircraft. You can even face each other and say play chess or browse on your iPad (with Wi-Fi available on most trains) – that is, if you are bored to look out the large windows and take in the beautiful landscape. It may also be thrilling, especially for groups or families with kids, since kids are usually captivated by trains. In Japan, many trains also have bathrooms with showers! If you get a chance to ride the bullet train (Shinkasen) in Japan or the TGV in France, the speed and comfort will enthrall you.
Environment Friendly. When you travel by train, you have done the environment a favour, since the carbon footprint (pollution index) of train is much lesser than that of an airliner.