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Trains Versus Planes

  • June 11th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

tgv-resize-2001.jpgFrance has started its “TGV Est” service, the high-speed train link between Paris and Eastern Europe, to become the key to an all-Europe network of fast trains.

The new Paris – Strasbourg spur extends to Frankfurt in Germany and will go on to bring Eastern European capitals into the system.

Previous connections have linked rapid services from Paris to Brussels and Amsterdam, with connections from Brussels to inter-city express trains (ICE) in Germany.

For the inauguration on Saturday (9.6.07) a train ran from Paris to Strasbourg (456 kilometres) in three hour 46 minutes, now rivalling door-to-door passenger-time for the trip by plane.

On the negative side there have been consumer complaints about fares rising as fast as the speed of the trains, to match premium air rates for many services.

Transport Ministers of the European Union meanwhile (8.6.07) approved a new regulation for the booming, and increasingly low-cost air industry, to impose a charge on air pollution.

The airlines will be brought into the EU emissions trading program which puts caps on permitted outputs of carbon dioxide.