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Old October 3rd, 2015, 03:40 PM   #181
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I just fly abroad rather than travel in Sweden as the yield management on the trains makes taking them to go to Gothenburg more expensive than taking a last minute flight to go to London, and I sure as hell would rather go to Lonon than Gothenburg.
You know that the only reason you can get a cheap last minute ticket for London is that the airlines practive yield management...

Anyway, I see that a last minute ticket for Stockholm - Göteborg would cost 82,- EUR. 97,- if I want a rebookable one. I do not find that excessively expensive.
No you tell me where I can get a plane ticket for London for departure in the next few hours for the same price...
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Old October 3rd, 2015, 03:45 PM   #182
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The fact is, though, that at the weekend a family can jump into the car and go on a trip. A family will struggle to be able to take that same trip by train due to the extreme price fluctuations. They'll just end up taking the car, heck I would (if Sweden wasn't retarded on their driving laws).
.
Of course people vastle underestimate what it costs to get somewhere by car.

And you also seem te forget something: The railway doesn't need to be appealing to everybody. Some people are stupid enough to keep using their cars for everything matter what.

And I would like to know what family that is that manages to go somewhere on a weekend on the spur of the moment without any advance planning...
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Old October 3rd, 2015, 03:47 PM   #183
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Ryanair last minute flights can be cheaper to London, for example, than the Gothenburg rail example I gave.

You are claiming that it is possible to go to an airport, go to a ticket desk there, and get a ticket to some destination, departure within a few hours, for less than 92,- euro?

I don't believe you. Show me the proof.
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Old October 3rd, 2015, 04:00 PM   #184
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You know that the only reason you can get a cheap last minute ticket for London is that the airlines practive yield management...

Anyway, I see that a last minute ticket for Stockholm - Göteborg would cost 82,- EUR. 97,- if I want a rebookable one. I do not find that excessively expensive.
No you tell me where I can get a plane ticket for London for departure in the next few hours for the same price...
Yes, but with airlines there is a LOT more competition. With trains you have much more of a monopoly in most cases so it doesn't work in the same way to lower prices. Something that works for one mode does not necessarily work for others. I don't mind yield management so much when there are so many choices like there is for air travel.

To answer your question about walk up fares, yes. I prefer having a fixed price walk up fare, though it doesn't always happen to be "more expensive". Again I point to Japan where, unless you're using the premium services that carry a surcharge, the fares are quite reasonable and wholly calculated by km. Further away you go, more you pay.

To try to answer your question about prices between air and rail, I cannot book today now as it is too late in the day. I would book Friday as that is when I know so yes, not a "few hours" before, but definitely a day before you can get it cheaper than the rail fare. I use momondo.se for the airfares so have a play yourself. Flights to the UK next day can be as low as 70-80 euros even, which is very reasonable given I can get to London faster than I can get to Gothenburg and, like I said, it's London, not Gothenburg so far much better to visit too.

And as for going away for the weekend without planning, well, we used to do it all the time when I was younger, jump in the car and go off to the countryside or out for the day or perhaps down to London by train as we were only an hour away, and my wife and I do try to do the same now. I have a very "last minute" lifestyle unfortunately due to experiments that can sometimes terminate at odd hours or require me to work weekends, so unless it's a full holiday booked ages and ages in advance (like a trip back home to NZ for me, for example) I have to book quite close to dates as I never know if I can go somewhere or not.

One thing I can answer is about the car rental. I cannot rent a car now for today, so I've used Monday as an example for my wife and I to travel. I chose Linköping as the city as that is a daytrip distance and a place I would actually go to from Stockholm in a day. True it's not 50km as that was an exaggeration (and actually at 50km you'd still be within the city of Stockholm as it sprawls that far. Here we go:





And then you have the flexibility of having a car too. Plus as you note, I even added all extra protections to the car too.

Last edited by Svartmetall; October 3rd, 2015 at 04:08 PM.
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Old October 3rd, 2015, 04:00 PM   #185
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Also, is Germany really truly yield managed these days? I didn't realise that they got rid of flat fares as I was sure they kept them for most things except for offering an advance booking reduction, the fare doesn't increase incrementally unless I am wrong, so you still know how much your fare would be even if you did not book the advance ticket
Germany is like Sweden. There is a normal, walk up fare that is always available.
And there are advance pruchase fares that are cheaper, and that become more expensive as you get close to the time of departure.

Take for example Dortmund - Berlin. A distance comparable to Stockholm - Göteborg. Walk up fare for the fastest trains is 98,- So for comparable trains you see comparable prices. DB is a bit more expensive than SJ though.
The cheapest SJ offers on Göteburg - Stockholm is 20,- EUR. Firstly this does not support your claim that the price difference between cheapest and most expensive tickets is tenfold, as it clearly isn't...
The cheapest DB offers is 29,-

So it would appear that both companies fare policies aren't that much different.

I btw, always try to take advantage of cheap advance fares. For example: Basel to Belgium for 119,- in 1st class. Without yield management offering fares like that would not be possible.

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Also, I don't operate my own car, I would rent rather than take the train because it is a LOT cheaper most of the time at least in Sweden. This means, in my mind, yield management is being done wrong.
I would like to see some numbers to back this. I don't believe that renting a car can be cheaper than even a walk up train fare.
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Old October 3rd, 2015, 04:15 PM   #186
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But you assume that walk up fares are fixed in Sweden. They are not, they jump all over the place so it is almost impossible to ascertain a fixed price.

You can get fares as low as 195kr one way to Malmö for advanced fares. If I book today I can see fares as high as 1135kr because the others are sold out for today. Not quite 10 times but 5.8 times on this example at least.

Anyway, I am going to move this discussion to the yield managed discussion.
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Old October 3rd, 2015, 05:40 PM   #187
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To answer your question about walk up fares, yes. I prefer having a fixed price walk up fare, though it doesn't always happen to be "more expensive". Again I point to Japan where, unless you're using the premium services that carry a surcharge, the fares are quite reasonable and wholly calculated by km. Further away you go, more you pay.
A quick check shows me that the fares in Japan are comparable to the walk-up fares in Germany or Sweden for similar distances. If you consider these prices reasonable, what are you complaining about?

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To try to answer your question about prices between air and rail, I cannot book today now as it is too late in the day. I would book Friday as that is when I know so yes, not a "few hours" before, but definitely a day before you can get it cheaper than the rail fare. I use momondo.se for the airfares so have a play yourself. Flights to the UK next day can be as low as 70-80 euros even, which is very reasonable given I can get to London faster than I can get to Gothenburg and, like I said, it's London, not Gothenburg so far much better to visit too.
You're again comparing apples to oranges. Yes. you can get cheap fares on the day before. But the same again applies to rail. I'm still seeing a lot of discounted tickes for tomorrow on SJ trains for example. You can easily save 50% or more by just booking one day in advance. I wish DB would do this too.

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... I have a very "last minute" lifestyle unfortunately due to experiments that can sometimes terminate at odd hours or require me to work weekends,...
That is of course your choice.

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One thing I can answer is about the car rental. I cannot rent a car now for today, so I've used Monday as an example for my wife and I to travel. I chose Linköping as the city as that is a daytrip distance and a place I would actually go to from Stockholm in a day. True it's not 50km as that was an exaggeration (and actually at 50km you'd still be within the city of Stockholm as it sprawls that far. Here we go:
Interesting. So you car will cost you 78,- euro. Add about 50,- for fuel and tolls. I'll leave parking out. (I didn't pay attention to parking prices when I was in Linköping, as I waas by train).
So that is 128,- for the two of you.
The train tickets you show come to 137,- Euro.
So it's not that much different. Especially given that the train is significantly faster. If you are willing to travel at car speeds you can take an SJ Regional train, which is significantly cheaper, and still faster then a car.
So again, what are you are really complaining about?


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Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
But you assume that walk up fares are fixed in Sweden. They are not, they jump all over the place so it is almost impossible to ascertain a fixed price.

You can get fares as low as 195kr one way to Malmö for advanced fares. If I book today I can see fares as high as 1135kr because the others are sold out for today. Not quite 10 times but 5.8 times on this example at least.
When I look up rpices I see that the 2nd class walk up fare for Stokholm to Malmö equals to 1194,- SEK for each departure. So they do not "jump all over the place". The discounted fares are indeed not the same for each departure. But that is yield management.
And you can go for half that if you are willing to settle for a slightly slower train. If only we had this in Switzerland...
My impression is that, yes, walkup fares are fixed, you can dus know in advance what last moment travel will cost.
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Old October 3rd, 2015, 06:04 PM   #188
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Switzerland actually is not that great for those on a limited budget. If you don't own your own car then traveling across the country is going to be pretty expensive. Supersaver tickets help a bit (need luck) and if you plan a lot in advance gemeinde tageskarte might be the cheapest way, but that's about it. No cheap buses here...
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Old October 3rd, 2015, 06:14 PM   #189
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Switzerland actually is not that great for those on a limited budget. If you don't own your own car then traveling across the country is going to be pretty expensive. Supersaver tickets help a bit (need luck) and if you plan a lot in advance gemeinde tageskarte might be the cheapest way, but that's about it. No cheap buses here...
Actually you can buy unlimited travel for year card or 1/2 yearly card.
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Old October 3rd, 2015, 06:31 PM   #190
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Actually you can buy unlimited travel for year card or 1/2 yearly card.
Yes, you can buy GA card but the current price is 3655 chf. Only pays off if you need it for commuting to work or if you travel for some reason from one corner to another at least twice a month.
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Old October 3rd, 2015, 06:44 PM   #191
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A quick check shows me that the fares in Japan are comparable to the walk-up fares in Germany or Sweden for similar distances. If you consider these prices reasonable, what are you complaining about?
Really? You think? An example here for walk up fares. Tokyo to Utsunomiya - 132km = 14 euros = 0.106 euros / km.
Stockholm - Norrköping - 162km = 24 euros = 0.146 euros / km

No, they're cheaper and they are fixed prices so they are very scalable in Japan - and this, by the way, was taking JR - there is another company that goes to Utsunomiya called Tobu, and they are cheaper again at 8.90 euros for the journey from Tokyo to Utsunomiya. Dunno if you have been there or not, but most assuredly the trains are cheaper than here.

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You're again comparing apples to oranges. Yes. you can get cheap fares on the day before. But the same again applies to rail. I'm still seeing a lot of discounted tickes for tomorrow on SJ trains for example. You can easily save 50% or more by just booking one day in advance. I wish DB would do this too.
You do not save that amount at all! Additionally, you do NOT live here and you do NOT take the system. I am sorry, but if you had to live with our rail system you'd too resent paying anything over peanuts for it. I cannot search for same day departures right now as we're out of trains, but I will do so tomorrow to compare just in case you really do save that magical "50% by booking the next day".

Also, I was comparing apples with apples - flight booking next day vs. train booking next day. Tried both, gave up on travelling in this hole and went for travelling abroad instead.


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That is of course your choice.
No, that is the realities of life. Your life cannot fit around a yield managed railway. It is not about choice it is about having flexibility of travel and you do not have it if you are constantly having shifting fares. I would rather settle for a fixed fare that is lower than the walk up price we have constantly than have the chance to "bag a bargain". But, as evidenced from your support, the "must get a bargain" psychology works very well on the masses.

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Interesting. So you car will cost you 78,- euro. Add about 50,- for fuel and tolls. I'll leave parking out. (I didn't pay attention to parking prices when I was in Linköping, as I waas by train).
So that is 128,- for the two of you.
The train tickets you show come to 137,- Euro.
So it's not that much different. Especially given that the train is significantly faster. If you are willing to travel at car speeds you can take an SJ Regional train, which is significantly cheaper, and still faster then a car.
So again, what are you are really complaining about?
Car = flexible. Car = far more comfortable and car definitely with the Swedish joke of a rail system = more reliable. I will, if I can avoid it, never take a train in this sorry excuse for a country again. Each time there have been delays, cancellations, poor customer service and dilapidated, old and smelly trains. If this is what our crazy fare system pays for then they can keep it.

Anyway, if you think this is just "complaining" as you put it, fine. You like the yield managed systems, I don't. I think we reach an impasse and there is little point in discussing further.

Out of interest, you live in Switzerland, right? Yeah, you're at least lucky to have a clean, punctual and decent railway system that justifies its high fares. Us, not so much.
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Old October 3rd, 2015, 10:51 PM   #192
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In the above comparisons, are we using the BahnCard 50 or Swiss Half Fare Card? if so, I suspect German and even Swiss walk up fares would be look reasonably priced.
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Old October 4th, 2015, 06:51 PM   #193
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Really? You think? An example here for walk up fares. Tokyo to Utsunomiya - 132km = 14 euros = 0.106 euros / km.
Stockholm - Norrköping - 162km = 24 euros = 0.146 euros / km
According to jorudan.co.jp the distance from Tokyo to Utsunomiya is 109 km.
The train takes two hours and costs indeed 14 euro. That's 0,12 euros /km.

On Stockholm - Norrköping the SJ regional trains on that route are a lot faster than on the Japanes route you compared it with. And they are indeed a bit more expensive, but not a lot.

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You do not save that amount at all! Additionally, you do NOT live here and you do NOT take the system. I am sorry, but if you had to live with our rail system you'd too resent paying anything over peanuts for it.
It is true I do not live there. But that allows me to be a bit more objective though. Do you actually realise what you are complaining about. You're basicaly complaining the SJ allows other people to take the train for less than you end up paying.

I've pulled up quite a few figures so far, and all I can see is that walk up fares in Sweden are not that more expensive than walk up fares elsewhere in North-Western Europe. 163 km on the NS network will cost you 22,- In Belgium 21,20.
Don't forget, that in your example (Stockholm - Norrköping) even the slower regional trains are still faster than an NS or NMBS intercity...

So if you were willing to live with a fare structure like NS or NMBS offers, than you do have that option. You can just ignore the bargain prices.

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No, that is the realities of life. Your life cannot fit around a yield managed railway. It is not about choice it is about having flexibility of travel and you do not have it if you are constantly having shifting fares. I would rather settle for a fixed fare that is lower than the walk up price we have constantly than have the chance to "bag a bargain". But, as evidenced from your support, the "must get a bargain" psychology works very well on the masses.
You would rather have a fixed price that is lower thatn the current walk up fare. I understand that. But your preferred option isn't always on the table. That is also the reality of life.

In the US the railways were not allowed to set their own fares. It is one of the things that killed them.
I would rather see railways thrive then see them wither away.

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Out of interest, you live in Switzerland, right? Yeah, you're at least lucky to have a clean, punctual and decent railway system that justifies its high fares. Us, not so much.
The trains in Switzerland are great. If you're rich. Poor people actually can't afford to take the train here, and there is no alternative for them. (Well there wasn't, until SBB started offering supersaver fares)
Zürich - Bern will cost you 50,- CHF. Or 45,- euro. And that is for a distance of 132 km...
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Old October 4th, 2015, 06:52 PM   #194
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In the above comparisons, are we using the BahnCard 50 or Swiss Half Fare Card? if so, I suspect German and even Swiss walk up fares would be look reasonably priced.
Recently SBB started offering supersaver fares. What I now see is that a lot of people that don't travel by train a lot no longer buy the Half Fare Card, and get supersaver tickets in stead.
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Old October 4th, 2015, 06:56 PM   #195
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Of course they are faster in Sweden. There is nothing in this wasteland so they have few stops, 5ake a look at Utsunomiya line and tell me how many stops there are there by comparison, it is an incredibly dense part of the country. Plus the trains are way more frequent, way more reliable, cleaner and generally better than the junk we have here. Same of course for the Swiss rail system. Dutch I cannot comment on as I have not used it. Anyway, I won'the argue any more. I will just vote with my feet and simply not take this shockingly 3rd world rail system. At least when I have taken trains elsewhere and had to buy last minute fares I have felt I got my money's worth.
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Old October 4th, 2015, 08:06 PM   #196
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163 km on the NS network will cost you 22,- In Belgium 21,20.
But the NS fare would be 40% less than that in the off-peak if you have the discount card. The Belgian fare would be 7.60 with a RailPass, even in peak:

http://www.belgianrail.be/en/travel-...rail-pass.aspx

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Zürich - Bern will cost you 50,- CHF. Or 45,- euro. And that is for a distance of 132 km...
But only 25 CHF with a Half Fare Card, valid in peak too. That's cheap given the cost of living and high wages.
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Old October 4th, 2015, 10:31 PM   #197
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Yield management sometimes has weird effects on prices. I recently booked a short trip in Italy (around 100 km) with a Frecciarossa AVT and booked the cheapest fares, at 13 and 9 Euros (I bought them very late). When I boarded, I discovered that the 13 Euro ticket was for premium class, and I even managed to get a complementary glass of Prosecco and a snack. I thought that was very good value. I also had this in Spain: Preferente class tickets ending up being just slightly more expensive than Turista class ones.
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Old October 4th, 2015, 10:55 PM   #198
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Italian HS train tickets are the cheapest in Europe (20 euros Rome-Naples last time I used) and Spanish ones aren't too bad either. With an advance purchase of course.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 09:14 AM   #199
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Of course they are faster in Sweden. There is nothing in this wasteland so they have few stops, 5ake a look at Utsunomiya line and tell me how many stops there are there by comparison, it is an incredibly dense part of the country. Plus the trains are way more frequent, way more reliable, cleaner and generally better than the junk we have here. Same of course for the Swiss rail system.
Of course the system is different. Sweden is a different country, and has thus different needs. My impression is that SJ has adapted itself to the different needs, and the different reality that Sweden is.
If you have a lower population density you need to have faster trains. But those faster trains are also more expensive to run. Running a good railway in a sparsely populate country is not trivial. SJ seems to be doing a rather good job.

I would not call it a 3d world system by any measure. For example: In Sweden you can still get food and drinks on intercity trains. Try to get that in the Netherlands...

A 3d world country railway system in a country like Sweden would mean: No trains at all.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 09:16 AM   #200
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Yield management sometimes has weird effects on prices. I recently booked a short trip in Italy (around 100 km) with a Frecciarossa AVT and booked the cheapest fares, at 13 and 9 Euros (I bought them very late). When I boarded, I discovered that the 13 Euro ticket was for premium class, and I even managed to get a complementary glass of Prosecco and a snack. I thought that was very good value. I also had this in Spain: Preferente class tickets ending up being just slightly more expensive than Turista class ones.
Indeed. I normally travel first class in Germany because when I book the 1st class Sparpreise are usually only like 10-15% more than the second class ones. The same I have ended up doing in Italy as well. I absolutely love the free coffee and tea you get on Scandinavian trains in 1st class, or indeed the complementary drinks you get in Italy.

This is exactly the way the system is supposed to work... Reward people that are willing to cooperate with making the system more efficient.
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