Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"High speed trains are killing airplanes"

Here is a good idea--and one that is highly overdue here in the US. (Yes, various arguments against the idea of investing in serious high-speed energy-efficient rail systems also float around, but most of them are flimsy at best.) Perhaps someone might even bring this up during the Presidential campaign? (Via Instapundit)

--Jeff Weintraub
High speed trains are killing airplanes
Posted Jun 17th 2008 10:35AM by Xavier Navarro
Filed under: Transportation Alternatives, European Union

Here's another harbinger: air traffic between cities that are linked by high speed train lines is significantly reduced. This was a notorious effect of the Paris-Lyon route (Europe's first high speed train link), and has been seen more recently in the Paris-London, Paris-Brussels and Paris-Amsterdam combinations. In the country where high speed trains are growing the fastest is seeing the effects as well: The Madrid-Barcelona high speed link in Spain (AVE), which started operating in March, has reduced by about 18.4 percent the air traffic between the two cities.

June is expected to offer more dramatic results. Railway traffic has increased steadily by five percent every month since then, and Renfe, the company that operates the line, has increased train frequencies accordingly. Train speeds are also going to be faster this fall, from the current 300 km/h to 350 km/h (186 to 217 mph) completing the 615 km (382 mi.) long trip in 2 hours and 15 minutes. The Spanish high speed train network is expected to be linked with France and the rest of the European continent in 2010.

[Source: El Periodico]