Note: This is a guest post from Plonkee at Plonkee Money, a regular reader of The Good Human.
One of the biggest contributors to excessive greenhouse house gas emissions is transport, in addition to the vast quantities pumped out by cars, the aviation sector also relies on crude oil to power it’s way around the world. Perhaps you feel that there isn’t a real alternative to air travel. I’d suggest that in many cases, rail can be not only a good alternative from an environmental point of view, but also a better alternative from both a cost saving and time saving point of view.
In areas where there are good rail networks, such as Europe, the north eastern corridor of the US and Japan, if you compare city to city journeys where the flight is around an hour long, it is usually quicker to take the train, examples of such journeys include the London – Paris – Brussels triangle and Philadelphia – New York.
If you book in advance, fares are also comparable to air travel for many routes. London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord costs from Â£59 return by Eurostar. In comparison, a typical flight from London Heathrow to Paris Charles de Gaulle is around Â£100 with BA or Air France and that doesn’t include the cost of getting from the city centre to the airport.
If you don’t think that the train would be suitable for your normal needs, perhaps because you live somewhere with an infrequent service, have you considered taking the train instead of the plane for your vacation? On the train, the journey can become as much a part of the trip as the destination. Indeed some of the greatest things to do before you die are rail trips, including the TranzAlpine between Christchurch and Greymouth in New Zealand and the Copper Canyon Railway between Chihuahua and Los Mochis in Mexico.
If you are interested in undertaking a long-distance train trip, then a great resource is the man in seat 61. Despite being a UK based website, it covers rail travel on every continent with a railway. The practical information on getting from London to almost anywhere overland (including London to Los Angeles and the mammoth London to Singapore) lends itself to undertaking shorter trips from almost any destination. It includes details on the best (and cheapest) ways to buy tickets and tips and information from recent travelers.
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