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Old March 6th, 2010, 12:47 AM   #341
Justme
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I've seen longer lines at security. But my problem is not the queuing. It's the fact that I have to surrender my dignity to a group of would be concentratrion camp guards all for no purpose at all. Last time I flew I had to take of my shoes, my belt, had to pass through the detector twice and was then manually frisked to boot.
All because our politicians want to show they can make us do whatever they want. That makes me angry. It's a pointles waste of tax payer money, and it's harrasment to boot.
maybe it's because you look stressed, or angry, you certainly sound like you would in these circumstances. Security would pick up on this. I travel a lot, by both train and plane, and I fly through security at airports. The only hassle I have is that I usually carry a lot of really big expensive camera gear and this sometimes gets an extra check. No problems at all though. And there is peace of mind that once I put it in my overhead baggage it will still be there when I leave the plane. Unlike on a train where I can't close my eyes lest it gets nicked at one of the many stops.

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But I hope you don't run in to any traffic jams or a distruption in public transport, because then you're in trouble.
Again I don't get your point. Please explain the difference between these two circumstances:
a) Run into heavy traffic or P.T. disruption on way to airport: risk missing plane.
b) Run into heavy traffic or P.T. disruption on way to train station: risk missing train.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
The public transport to the central station is often part of the system that will take charge of you beyond that. So your trip really allready starts in your suburb.
Again, I don't get this at all. Where I live, as with most cities, there is public transport options to either the central station or airport. What is your point?

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People think that airports are time consuming because they are. You spend a lot of the time at an airport just waiting. Waiting is not fun. Time moves faster when you're moving.
That's your personal preference. I have a different one. And it seems, since far more people fly for these longer journey's than travel on a train, most people agree with me. I would imagine if most agreed with you, they would be taking the train ;O)
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Old March 6th, 2010, 10:58 AM   #342
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That's your personal preference. I have a different one. And it seems, since far more people fly for these longer journey's than travel on a train, most people agree with me. I would imagine if most agreed with you, they would be taking the train ;O)
Not so fast, Justme. For that to happen there would first have to BE a train. Afficionados such as K prefer to go almost anywhere by train, it is true, but most of us perceive this option only if train travel point-to-point takes at most 3 1/2 hours. That's the nub of the argument: if taking the train from Munich to Hamburg, or from Stuttgart to Berlin takes, say, five hours then most people go by plane.

That's the main problem I have with the German "net philosophy" according to which it makes no sense to simply measure speed improvements between to points on a newly built HS line. "One needs to consider the impact throughout the railway network..." Because, this lends itself to the conclusion that an improvement of, say, 10% on travel times throught the primary and secondary network is infinitely superior to a gain of 1 1/2 hours between a couple of select cities. The problem is, if you cut 10% off the travel times between Stuttgart and Berlin then people will keep flying. Much more radical solutions are called for to compete with the planes.

Having said that, I do disagree with Justme, because like K I detest airports and air travel. My job is as a "writer" and in order to get some work done on a travel day I need to SIT DOWN IN A QUIET PLACE and not move for a couople of hours. The 3 1/2 hours on a train between Paris and Geneva give me that. The 50 minutes in the air, plus 20 minutes to check in, plus 40 minutes in a lounge, plus 20 minutes to recuperage my luggage, plus 45 minutes to get to the airport, plus 30 minutes to get from the airport.... don't provide that. They provide me with a headache.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 11:24 AM   #343
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In most cases, your argumentation doesn't make sense for Germany.
E. g. Munich -Hamburg takes maybe around 6 hours. Getting from Munich Hbf. to the airport alone takes 40min. plus waiting for the flight, going back to the centre in Hamburg, etc. leaves virtually no time to saven by flying. Then again, it's only a matter of personal preference and price competition (assuming that you go centre to centre, but if one should live next to the airport and wants to go to a place near an airport, a HSL wouldn't make him switch to train either).

The distances in Germany aren't so large that building a HSL would have such a huge impact on saving time than in France or Spain.
In a comparision between plane and HSR, the first looses most time when going to the airport and waiting there and catches up during the actual flight. The shorter the distance, the more important these losses become - and the slower a HSR can be to compete in travel time. Simple mathematics. And Munich - Hamburg is the longest domestic flight which competes with ICEs, I'd say.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 01:50 PM   #344
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In most cases, your argumentation doesn't make sense for Germany. E. g. Munich -Hamburg takes maybe around 6 hours.
...
The distances in Germany aren't so large that building a HSL would have such a huge impact on saving time than in France or Spain.
...
And Munich - Hamburg is the longest domestic flight which competes with ICEs, I'd say.
OK, maybe my argumentation is faulty, Thun, but so is your aritmetics. The distance between Munich and Hamburg, as the crow flies, is 610 km. This is a funny number, because its 50 km shorter than Paris-Marseille but 100 km longer than Paris-Bordeaux. Hence your point about geographic distances is not, I think, well taken. The distance between the "capital of the north" and the "capital of the south" is PRECISELY the kind of distance that has for the last 30 years motivated direct 300+ km/h tracks in France and Spain.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 05:43 PM   #345
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While the question of what potential train passengers demand from a rail system is worht debating, we have been carried away by details and not everyone's personal preferences and itineraries are actually that interesting. Can we stop these childish discussions about where it is more fun to drink your cappucino - at the airport or on the train?
Basically we started about "mesh" versus "hub and spoke" networks. My point is that since trains will always be slower than planes so you need a network that minimizes detours and transfer costs. The DB does this better than SNCF in my opinion.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 05:51 PM   #346
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Not so fast, Justme. For that to happen there would first have to BE a train. Afficionados such as K prefer to go almost anywhere by train, it is true, but most of us perceive this option only if train travel point-to-point takes at most 3 1/2 hours. That's the nub of the argument: if taking the train from Munich to Hamburg, or from Stuttgart to Berlin takes, say, five hours then most people go by plane.
It would be interesting to see the market shares for both modes on those routes. Don't forget that if you fly to Munich you're still 40 minutes away from the downtown.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 07:29 PM   #347
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OK, maybe my argumentation is faulty, Thun, but so is your aritmetics. The distance between Munich and Hamburg, as the crow flies, is 610 km. This is a funny number, because its 50 km shorter than Paris-Marseille but 100 km longer than Paris-Bordeaux. Hence your point about geographic distances is not, I think, well taken. The distance between the "capital of the north" and the "capital of the south" is PRECISELY the kind of distance that has for the last 30 years motivated direct 300+ km/h tracks in France and Spain.
Ok, but then again, by contrast to France and Spain, there is a far larger number of medium to large cities (and long distance rail cross-connections) between these two. So, one has to ask if it wouldn't make sense to provide better service for them, too. And we can start were we already have been.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 10:54 PM   #348
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Not so fast, Justme. For that to happen there would first have to BE a train. Afficionados such as K prefer to go almost anywhere by train, it is true, but most of us perceive this option only if train travel point-to-point takes at most 3 1/2 hours. That's the nub of the argument: if taking the train from Munich to Hamburg, or from Stuttgart to Berlin takes, say, five hours then most people go by plane.

That's the main problem I have with the German "net philosophy" according to which it makes no sense to simply measure speed improvements between to points on a newly built HS line. "One needs to consider the impact throughout the railway network..." Because, this lends itself to the conclusion that an improvement of, say, 10% on travel times throught the primary and secondary network is infinitely superior to a gain of 1 1/2 hours between a couple of select cities. The problem is, if you cut 10% off the travel times between Stuttgart and Berlin then people will keep flying. Much more radical solutions are called for to compete with the planes.
One must not assume that I am against trains. I do enjoy train travel and always, when the travel time itself is as fast as, or faster on a train, I choose that mode of travel. Basically, within Germany I always travel by train. Living in Frankfurt which is rather central does help this. I also generally travel by train to somewhere like Paris or even Amsterdam. If the journey time is under four hours, train is usually my choice.

But I choose that for time. I don't find trains any more comfortable than flying.

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Having said that, I do disagree with Justme, because like K I detest airports and air travel. My job is as a "writer" and in order to get some work done on a travel day I need to SIT DOWN IN A QUIET PLACE and not move for a couople of hours. The 3 1/2 hours on a train between Paris and Geneva give me that. The 50 minutes in the air, plus 20 minutes to check in, plus 40 minutes in a lounge, plus 20 minutes to recuperage my luggage, plus 45 minutes to get to the airport, plus 30 minutes to get from the airport.... don't provide that. They provide me with a headache.
Well, for your reason I can certainly see the justification of your choice. As a writer, it would benefit to be in one spot for a longer time.

Being a photographer though, this isn't an issue for me. I also get restless being in one spot for too long and find the changes offered when flying to be quite refreshing and it speeds up the journey time in my mind.

I guess we are all different.

The thing is, I really like your post, as you give logical reasons why you prefer train travel, and even though I feel differently, I can see and understand your point. It doesn't seem to me that you expect everyone else to have your opinion here which is different to how K writes.

You write "I detest airports" which is a entirely valid point regarding your opinion. I detest Brussel Sprouts but my wife loves them ;O)

I personally love a good modern airport. But I also love a good train station. I guess I love travelling :O)
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Old March 6th, 2010, 11:03 PM   #349
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It would be interesting to see the market shares for both modes on those routes. Don't forget that if you fly to Munich you're still 40 minutes away from the downtown.
Well, I always use the train when I travel to Munich from Frankfurt and have few issues with it. Sure, it could be faster, but it is sufficient and there is no need for me to fly.

That said, not everyone wants to get to downtown Munich. Many years ago I travelled to Munich every second weekend. Downtown wasn't my destination though. This is the case in many other area's.

I fly to London to see family several times a year. They live not too far from Heathrow airport, so Heathrow is a perfect arrival point. From Heathrow I can get a coach that goes straight to their town and a short walk later at the hotel or their house.

If I went by train, I would arrive at St Pancras. A lovely station and a delight to visit. But then I would have to lug my baggage through the streets and the tube to the train station that goes to the town I need to get too, and the train station at the other end is nowhere near any hotels. It would take me both much longer, more changes, more hassle and more money.

Other times I need to fly to London for business. Then, my destination is Canary Wharf. It is still easier to land at London City and get either a short taxi or the DLR to Canary Wharf than arrive at St Pancras and make my way there.

If on the otherhand, central London was my destination, and sometimes it is. Arriving at St Pancras would be a good arrival point.


What I am trying to say is that not every form of travel is tourism related and downtown the destination. Sometimes the airports are actually closer to where we need to go.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 07:49 AM   #350
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Again I don't get your point. Please explain the difference between these two circumstances:
a) Run into heavy traffic or P.T. disruption on way to airport: risk missing plane.
b) Run into heavy traffic or P.T. disruption on way to train station: risk missing train.
My point is that "missing plane" means "pay a lot of money to get on the next flight wich might nog be for a couple of hours, whereas "missing trains" means "hop on the next available train" which is probably going to be somewhere in the next hour.


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Again, I don't get this at all. Where I live, as with most cities, there is public transport options to either the central station or airport. What is your point?
Most cities in Europe don't have airports at all. So it's
a) public transport to the nearest train station
versus
b) public transport to the nearest train station then train to the airport in another city.

Now when I want to go to Belgium from Switzerland, because of the "mesh" nature of the DB network option a) means that I'll be progressing towards my final destination a lot sooner than with options b) which both involve travelling _away_ from my final destination for at least an hour. Which is why I think that the "gradual improvement to the mesh" approach of Deutche Bahn is in my opinion a better idea than "build a ground level airline" approach of SNCF.

Other advantages have to do with the difference in the nature of the carriage contracts you have when travelling all the way by one mode, versus having a break of mode. When you travel by train you are essentially traveling on on single contract of carriage from your starting station to your final station. Suppose your trip is : S-Bahn to Köln Hbf, Thalys to Brussels, Eurostar to London. If in this case your S-Bahn gets distrupted Thalys has to accept you on their next service at no additional charge, and so does Eurostar. Try to get the same service out of Ryanair if you're late at the airport...
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Old March 8th, 2010, 07:53 AM   #351
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What I am trying to say is that not every form of travel is tourism related and downtown the destination. Sometimes the airports are actually closer to where we need to go.

Sometimes it indeed is. But in Switzerland there are two major international airports (three if you count Basel, but that one's actually in France) but there are hundreds of railway stations... In some areas a third of the population even has a train station within walking distance.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 11:17 AM   #352
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Basically we started about "mesh" versus "hub and spoke" networks. My point is that since trains will always be slower than planes so you need a network that minimizes detours and transfer costs. The DB does this better than SNCF in my opinion.
One way to look at Germany is that it's much more of a "mesh" network than France is. Another way, I suppose, is that it's more of a series of interconnected, but still somewhat autonomous, hub-and-spokes systems: Berlin and environment, Hamburg and environment, and so on.
Eventually, of course, you'd want both those regional networks and the connections between those networks to be as fast as possible, the only question is where to start: do you begin with upgrading the local networks, or do you start with really fast lines between cities like Hamburg and Munich?

My guess would be that most of the traffic is not on the 600 km-distances, but rather on the commute-style less-than-100km distances. Stuff like Lübeck-Hamburg, or Augsburg-Munich. As long as there's room for improvement on that type of distance, I'd say that that would make a lot more sense than focussing on the interregional lines. And besides: having strong regional networks around Hamburg and Munich would mean that you're feeding a LOT more people into that future high-speed line between those two cities than without those networks.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 02:14 PM   #353
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My point is that "missing plane" means "pay a lot of money to get on the next flight wich might nog be for a couple of hours, whereas "missing trains" means "hop on the next available train" which is probably going to be somewhere in the next hour.
a) You must be seriously unreliable if you keep missing trains and planes. It has happened so few times to me that I have to really think hard to remember them.

b) Not all train services in all countries allow you to use the next train on the same ticket, likewise not all flights will bar this. I can only personally remember one missed flight in the last 10years and that was a BA flight back to frankfurt from London. They put me on the next flight 30minutes later for free.

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Most cities in Europe don't have airports at all. So it's
a) All major cities have airports and many of the smaller ones still have regional airports. I travel a lot across Europe and never once has a destination I wanted to get to not had an airport.

b) But if it doesn't, well I guess train is the way to go then. Not exactly rocket science. So when it does, we have the choice, when it doesn't we just use train. It's a pretty useless point though to say flying is not as good as train travel because the smaller towns don't have airports.

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Other advantages have to do with the difference in the nature of the carriage contracts you have when travelling all the way by one mode, versus having a break of mode. When you travel by train you are essentially traveling on on single contract of carriage from your starting station to your final station. Suppose your trip is : S-Bahn to Köln Hbf, Thalys to Brussels, Eurostar to London. If in this case your S-Bahn gets distrupted Thalys has to accept you on their next service at no additional charge, and so does Eurostar. Try to get the same service out of Ryanair if you're late at the airport...
You seem to have a very doom and gloom personality. Always taking about disruptions and problems. I fly a lot as I have already said (and I use the train a lot as well) and to be honest, I have not had many serious disruptions on either service.

But trains can have just as hard disruptions as flying. Remember the recent snow a couple of weeks back? This caused serious disruptions to both airports and trains. Frankfurt airport was closed. But, so was Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof. The difference is this. When Frankfurt airport was closed, people were left stranded in Frankfurt, which has loads of hotels for them to find a bed for the night. All, except maybe the budget airlines would generally offer to pay for the bed and even many budget airlines do this.

When DB closed down their lines, they done so immediately across all the trains in that region. In other words, wherever you were in Germany at the point they shut down, the trains pulled into the next station regardless of how big or small and emptied the passengers. No free hotel, and in hundreds of cases this left tens of thousands of people trapped in a tiny village with no hotel rooms available, stuck outside in the blizzard with no where to go. In some cases, the station was so small it shut down at night and locked the doors, so they couldn't even lie on the cold stone floor inside.

And this is also not mentioning the people a few weeks before that were stuck for 16hours in the ice cold in the Channel Tunnel.

Both trains and planes can have disruption problems. Don't try to suggest that one is worse than the other because both can be terrible.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 03:10 PM   #354
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a) You must be seriously unreliable if you keep missing trains and planes. It has happened so few times to me that I have to really think hard to remember them.
Suicide, technical defects, etc. It doesn't have necessarily to be ones own fault to miss a plane because of problems on the train to the station. Obviously, you rarely use trains.


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All major cities have airports and many of the smaller ones still have regional airports. I travel a lot across Europe and never once has a destination I wanted to get to not had an airport.
So cities like e. g. Regensburg, Würzburg, Kiel, Bern, etc. are small cities for you because they don't have an airport? Taking yourself as a reference for the average traveller doesn't work here. There is a very large share of people (probably even the majority) for which using a plane would be a detour ar described.


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Both trains and planes can have disruption problems. Don't try to suggest that one is worse than the other because both can be terrible.
True, but your comparing apple with oranges. Situations like the one you described happens very rarely. A traveller using rail to go to the airport hardly gets stuck in a snow storm. Smaller problems are a way more important risk.
I once had to catch a taxi to get from a Munich suburb (where the train stopped and DB said that they'll send busses - unfortunately they did need more than 90min to do so, so I would have had plenty of time to get to the airport in normal circumstances) to the airport to catch my plane because the S-bahn line was shut due to a suicide. It costed some 80€ (the actual flight 20 plus 20 for the train ticket) just to jump on the plane (and I'm not even talking about how stressful it was). A few minutes later I would have come too late and have lost 120€ (as both the airline and DB says that it isn't their fault). That hardly can happen to you when travelling by rail the whole way. You might come late, too, but you won't be on such a risk. And if you have to go for a longer time to the airport than from Frankfurt city to Frankfurt airport (let's say about 90min, which isn't the rare exception in Germany)), that risk obviously gets bigger which makes the choice for the train more likely.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 04:24 PM   #355
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Suicide, technical defects, etc. It doesn't have necessarily to be ones own fault to miss a plane because of problems on the train to the station. Obviously, you rarely use trains.
Year, but maybe I'm just not silly. If I see problems on the u-bahn, I'd just call a taxi. This would be the same for heading to the Hauptbahnhof or the airport.

Another thing is, I always have travel insurance. It costs next to nothing and lasts a year. If I did miss a train or a plane, and if I had to pay for the next service, the insurance would cover it. It also covers for lost baggage, medical emergencies and the like.

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So cities like e. g. Regensburg, Würzburg, Kiel, Bern
I've been to all those places except Bern, and I travelled by train. It was the most logical choice from Frankfurt. That said, Bern does have an airport with direct flights from places like Amsterdam, London, Berlin etc.

However, I will also add that those small towns are rarely primary destinations for international tourists. Most will pass through on a journey but not as a destination unless they are visiting relatives.

The point is, a tourist would use the fastest method generally to get to that place. So, if Kiel was the destination say from Lisbon, a train would be out of the question, but a flight to Hamburg, and then a train to Kiel would be the best option.

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True, but your comparing apple with oranges. Situations like the one you described happens very rarely.
A disruption is a disruption is a disruption. Apples to Apples mate. It doesn't matter if the trains are down or the planes. Both are disruptions.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #356
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b) Not all train services in all countries allow you to use the next train on the same ticket, likewise not all flights will bar this.
you seem to be unaware about your rights as a train passenger. If you miss a connection and it's the railways fault (delayed train), than they have to accept you on board the next train available, even if you have an "IRT" type ticket. I've once traveled on the Köln - Brussels ICE with a Thalys ticket for example.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 07:50 PM   #357
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Year, but maybe I'm just not silly. If I see problems on the u-bahn, I'd just call a taxi. This would be the same for heading to the Hauptbahnhof or the airport.
But you're the rather the exception than the norm. If you live on the countryside (like lots of people do), You can't choice between train and/or a taxi. And obviously you can't foresee problems before you start your travel (again, just let someone jump in front of a train and the line is blocked for hours).


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However, I will also add that those small towns are rarely primary destinations for international tourists. Most will pass through on a journey but not as a destination unless they are visiting relatives.
It's not about international tourists, it's about travellers in general. And tourists aren't the majoritiy on neither trains nor domestic flights.

Quote:
The point is, a tourist would use the fastest method generally to get to that place. So, if Kiel was the destination say from Lisbon, a train would be out of the question, but a flight to Hamburg, and then a train to Kiel would be the best option.
No-one to agrue with you in that case. It would be better to talk about routes were trains and planes can compete. Hardly someone would use a plane to get from Frankfurt to Cologne either because the ICE is by far the more logical alternative.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 11:08 AM   #358
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you seem to be unaware about your rights as a train passenger. If you miss a connection and it's the railways fault (delayed train), than they have to accept you on board the next train available, even if you have an "IRT" type ticket. I've once traveled on the Köln - Brussels ICE with a Thalys ticket for example.
Ah... yes. Well, I presume you are saying that if I had a train from say from Frankfurt to Lubeck, and the train was late and I missed my Lubeck connection, then yes they would put me on the next train for free.

Sounds familiar. If I have a flight from Frankfurt to Bristol and the plane to Amsterdam was delays, I will be put on the next flight for free as well.

So what's the difference?
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Old March 9th, 2010, 11:19 AM   #359
Justme
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Originally Posted by thun View Post
But you're the rather the exception than the norm. If you live on the countryside (like lots of people do), You can't choice between train and/or a taxi. And obviously you can't foresee problems before you start your travel (again, just let someone jump in front of a train and the line is blocked for hours).
Whether I am particularly good at not missing trains or planes is beside the point. I don't do anything special, I just don't **** around. If other people can't be as organized it's not my problem.

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Originally Posted by thun View Post
It's not about international tourists, it's about travellers in general. And tourists aren't the majoritiy on neither trains nor domestic flights.
I don't get the point here. Let's be honest, most people visiting Würzburg, or any of these small German towns, will be Germans. They don't attract international visitors as a primary destination. And Germans would generally drive or get the train anyway because the distances are not that far.

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Originally Posted by thun View Post
No-one to agrue with you in that case. It would be better to talk about routes were trains and planes can compete. Hardly someone would use a plane to get from Frankfurt to Cologne either because the ICE is by far the more logical alternative.
Exactly, I agree here. The funny thing is, some people on this thread think I am anti train, just because I prefer flying for longer distances. Yet, despite the fact I always say if the journey is 3-4 hours or less by train, I am likely to choose the train over flying. What I disagree with though is that flying is so uncomfortable and airports are so horrible etc. Maybe flying budget airlines is a horrible experience, but I am not an expert there. In all my countless flights, I have only ever flown a budget airline once. I didn't like the experience either to be honest, but then I have also had horrible train journeys (a recent one was the train journey between Christchurch and Picton in NZ. Possibly the most uncomfortable 6 hours in the last few years) and you don't want to miss that train either as the next one is 24 hours later ;O).

I find each type of transport has it's advantages and disadvantages, which is why, I, coincidently like most people, would use the train for distances of 3-4 hours or less, and then flying for over that.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 12:41 PM   #360
kato2k8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koen Acacia View Post
My guess would be that most of the traffic is not on the 600 km-distances, but rather on the commute-style less-than-100km distances.
Rough passenger split for DB:

- commuter : ~1400 million / year (S*)
- regional : ~180 million / year (RB/RE*)
- long-distance : ~120 million / year (IC/ICE)

*- some S-Networks of course travel out to distances up to 100 km from their center. RE trains in some regions may travel in excess of 200 km. Nominal legal differentiation between "short-distance" and "long-distance" in Germany is 50 km.

Of course a lot of traffic on the IC/ICE lines is relatively short-distance too. Average distance travelled on IC/ICE was ~287 km in 2007; i.e. for every person travelling a 600 km distance, there would have been statistically three people doing 90 km journeys.

If we express it in pkm (passengers * distance) and money, S/RB/RE short-distance trains account for ~48 billion pkm/year (turnover 7.8 billion €), while IC/ICE account for ~34 billion pkm/year (turnover 3 billion €).
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