[Sorry. The link no longer works and I can’t find the original article. -Oct 2012]
Here’s another break in the Kansai/Japan posts. Just had to comment on this series of articles I came across.
The Times Online is actually the Times of London, so everything is written from a Brit’s perspective. This series of four articles covers some of the ins and outs (mostly ins from the looks of it) of rail travel.
The comments are delightfully insightful about individual experiences of air and rail travel in Europe. I also appreciate the smart wit of some of the comment makers. I can’t say I always see the same wittiness in North American comments. So it’s actually fun to read the comments section along with the articles.
Again, it looks like Europe is light years ahead of North America in terms of rail travel. They even now have an alliance of high speed rail carriers, called RailTeam, to make high speed rail travel easier. Although, rail is a hard sell because of dirt cheap air travel. A comment lists a round-trip airfare from London to Eindhoven as a measly £6! That’s around CAD$12! So it seems that rail in Europe does suffer from one of the same problems we have here – cost.
For now, I’ll take what we can get from Amtrak’s temporarily improved twice-a-day Cascades rail service. US$34.50 one-way to Portland, OR isn’t too bad if you don’t want the bother of driving.