Trains often more expensive than flights for Europe trips

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Train travel from Switzerland to other European destinations is more expensive on 70% of the routes assessed by Greenpeace. 

In Switzerland, the train was more expensive on 70% of routes, even though the country has good rail links and the fewest low-cost airlines, stated Greenpeace in a press release on Thursday.

Flights to Spain were considerably cheaper, with two low-cost airlines offering direct connections. The most expensive European train ticket from Switzerland was from Zurich to Madrid and cost over CHF480 (around $560). 

On the other hand, it was cheaper to travel by train to Vienna and Berlin. Despite competition from low-cost airline Easyjet, it was also cheaper to travel between Geneva and Paris by train, thanks to eight high-speed TGV connections running daily.

On other routes, the situation varied according to conditions. For Zagreb in Croatia, the plane was only cheaper on days when there was a direct low-cost flight. For Zurich-Brussels, the train cost less than a flight booked well in advance, but more than a flight booked at short notice. 

Greenpeace compared ticket prices for the two means of transport on 112 journeys in 27 European countries, including Switzerland, and at nine different booking periods. Only 23 journeys were found to be cheaper by train with half of these judged inconvenient for travellers. The countries with the biggest price differences between air and rail were the UK (4.04 times more expensive), Spain (3.86) and Belgium (2.6). Low-cost airlines served 79% of all the routes studied.

Their fares were almost always lower than those of the rail companies. The most striking price difference was on the Barcelona-London route, which cost up to €384 (around CHF369) by train. That’s 30 times more than the €12.99 air fare.

Read more via SwissInfo

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