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Rail travel: Greenpeace criticises lack of direct trains in Europe

Rail travel: Greenpeace criticises lack of direct trains in Europe
Rail travel: Greenpeace criticises lack of direct trains in Europe

According to an analysis by the environmental organization Greenpeace, many cities in Europe can be reached much more easily by plane than by train. Hundreds of direct connections are possible.

According to an analysis by the environmental organization Greenpeace, European cities are much better connected by plane than by train. Using existing infrastructure alone, it would be possible to create 305 new direct train connections between cities in Europe, according to a new Greenpeace study.

Greenpeace compared train and flight connections between 45 major European cities and analyzed the potential for better direct trains. Of all 990 routes between the cities, only 12 percent can be covered by direct trains. The number of direct flights is much higher.

There are no direct train connections on popular routes such as Paris-Rome, Madrid-Paris or London-Berlin. With more than a million passengers each per year, these are among the most frequently used flight routes in Europe. With the direct train, these three routes could be covered within 10 hours and 30 minutes, it was said.

Train journeys are long and expensive

Currently, travelers can leave Paris by train at 8:00 a.m. and arrive in Copenhagen at 9:30 p.m. “But you have to change trains twice in Cologne and Hamburg and risk missing your connecting train twice,” say the authors. The price difference compared to air travel is immense. Only with a lot of luck will a train ticket cost less than 300 euros. At the same time, five airlines fly between Paris and Copenhagen every day. Prices there start at 14.99 euros.

Greenpeace is calling for a new EU rail strategy that prioritizes trains over flights and promotes direct train connections between European cities. Train tolls should be reduced and a kerosene tax introduced to reduce air travel.

Source: Stern

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