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BBT March/April 2019 cover
March/April 2019

Where in Europe is rail quicker than flying?

Railway signal

A study has found that when comparing major intra-European routes travelling by rail saved more than hour compared to flying.

The research from GoEuro, the search engine for comparing and booking coach, rail and flight travel, studied popular European routes and claims that when including wait time and airport transits the train gets travellers to their destination faster every time.

From

To

Duration Train

Duration Flight Incl. waits 
& transits

Time 
difference

Brussels

Paris

1:22:00

5:30:00

4:08:00

Brussels

London

2:18:00

5:36:00

3:18:00

Brussels

Amsterdam

1:50:00

5:05:00

3:15:00

Brussels

Lyon

3:29:00

5:50:00

2:21:00

Brussels

Frankfurt

3:05:00

5:15:00

2:10:00

London

Paris

2:16:00

3:57:00

1:41:00

Barcelona

Madrid

2:30:00

3:35:00

1:05:00

Madrid

Sevilla

2:20:00

3:25:00

1:05:00

Rome

Milan

2:51:00

3:50:00

0:59:00

Dusseldorf

Amsterdam

2:13:00

3:10:00

0:57:00

     

On all 10 routes travelling by train saved about an hour or more compared to flying. The five routes from Brussels saved between two and five hours against flying.

Naren Shaam, CEO and founder of GoEuro said, “Perhaps it’s that US travellers are more used to booking air travel thanks to the proliferation of airline online booking engines or just because distances are significantly longer in the US but with the expected worsening of airport security delays this summer, looking at rail options for travelling in Europe would be a smart move.

“Train travel in Europe is not only faster, it’s often more comfortable and time-efficient in that you don’t need to turn off your electronic devices aboard the train.  Many trains even have Wifi onboard and plugs to keep your devices charged,” she added.

Comments

This is rubbish all flight times have been made to look longer than they are, London City airport to Paris with hand baggage 2 hours max

Andy London 1971's picture
Andy London 1971 (not verified)

For me, there are instances where rail is certainly faster, better, and more convenient than flying. But it depends on a number of factors, including distances from origin and destination airports / train stations. In general, the shorter the distance between cities, the more favorable it is to travel by rail (assuming city center-to-city center travel). I believe that studies have shown that when rail journeys go below 4 hours, share of travelers starts to shift from air to rail.

[BTW, I am not affiliated with GoEuro or this study.]

Conor's picture
Conor (not verified)

London City Airport is nowhere near as accessible as St Pancras, for many in London and beyond. It also has limited capacity - a far greater number of Paris flights leave from Heathrow or Gatwick. You also need to consider the transfer time at the Paris end.

Noam's picture
Noam (not verified)

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