PHOTO: TGV train traveling through France. (Photo courtesy Rail Europe)
There are many options when traveling through Europe - and flying is often a fast and easy answer. But it’s not always the most expeditious route.
John Walton writes on Runway Girl Network that using the train is sometimes faster and more cost-effective than taking a plane.
“I recently needed to travel from rural France near Lyon to Frankfurt, a trip that took five and a half comfortable, productive hours in a wide first class seat with direct aisle access costing just under €80, on one of France’s international TGV trains and a German ICE,” Walton notes.
He notes that the experience was easy and spacious.
“The squashy recliners were supremely comfortable, and my window matched up with the countryside of France that started to zip by at first 260 km/h and then 320 km/h as the train headed along to the LGV Est, one of the newest stretches of high speed rail in the world,” Walton says.
Service was also equal to — or better — than in flight.
“I was impressed that the onboard crew — multilingual in French, German and English — came round quickly to offer at-seat service from the snack bar, and enjoyed a tasty and perfectly melty croque-monsieur with a crisp Kronenbourg beer before knuckling down to get some work done thanks to the at-seat AC power socket and large work table,” he points out.
Switching from the TGV to the ICE train in Germany with just 18 minutes, was also no problem.
“With elevators and ramps, the connection was easy and I enjoyed ten minutes in the late summer sunshine with a cold drink before the ICE arrived,” says Walton.
For more tips on taking the train in Europe, read on here.