Take just one step inside the sleeper cabin for any romantic notions about a long distance train journey. Remind yourself to sit back, stretch out your legs and relax. Let the train take the strain. You have decided to use the train, because aeroplane flights today make up 14 per cent of every individuals carbon footprint. Although I am passionate about the environment, on a long overnight train journey passengers can easily feel claustrophobic. Especially if you are 6ft and beyond in height and having to cope with dimished leg room for lenghty periods.
Trains can be fun with a little help from scrabble, a pack of cards and a few snacks. Travelling from London to Paris, Frankfurt, Brussels, Cologne and Switzerland really is the limit for one journey. Any further and you should break the journey with a stopover. Today rail remains the most efficient mode of transport in many European countries. France, Italy and Germany are very good for high-speed train travel, with some as fast as 200 miles per hour. A typical train has a lifespan of 30 to 40 years with one refurbishment.
Some people are sick and tired of airport queues, baggage restrictions, and the journeys to and from airports, which are nearly always on the outskirts of cities, costing additional travel expense. In comparision, most train stations are in the middle of cosmopolitan cities. Enabling passengers to gain easy access and to board with minimal fuss onto the rail network. So what steps should train operators take to improve train travel?
Firstly train operators need to further reduce ticket prices and work together on improved ticketing policy. If you should travel through a few European countries, passengers will end up with a fistful of tickets, which will undoubetdly cost more than if you had just one. Secondly customer services needs improving when there are emegencies and delays. Information to passengers should be made more punctual, and alternative travel arrangement information be forthcoming.
To fully experience and appreciate the train option, it is advisable that you pick your journey wisely. Your travel strategy should be to make the rail journey part of your holiday experience, watching the metropolis transform from suburbia to cluttered city beats. Getting a train instead of an aeroplane is not always possible, but I would carry some headphones to reduce the monotonous rattling sound bt the train’s wheels on the track.