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3 reasons why Europeans are using trains more
1. Roads are congested
Congestion is still a big issue in urban areas and there are very few periods in major cities when a driver will not encounter traffic on the road. Drivers in London, UK spend over 100 hours in traffic in a year, the highest in Europe, followed by those in Stuttgart, Germany at 73 hours. Rail gets people off the roads and provides a set journey time that makes it easier to plan, especially at peak times.
2. House prices
Higher property prices mean that people are increasingly living further away from their place of work, and new, improved forms of rail travel makes this a viable option. For example, the High Speed 1 line in south east England has meant that commuters can travel the 64 miles from Ashford to London St Pancras in 37 minutes, whereas in a car you would barely cover the 5 miles from Bank to Marble Arch in that time. With improving Wi-Fi and phone signal, train travel can also mean that people are able stay connected to work as they travel.
3. Airports vs. stations
Given the increased security measures and location of most airports, it is often much quicker to travel by train than plane. Including transit and waiting time, a journey from Brussels to Amsterdam takes over 5 hours by plane compared to 1 hour 50 minutes by train, while London to Paris takes 3 hours 35 by air instead of a speedy 2 hours 30 on a train.
Factors like these mean we are likely to see the trend of increasing rail travel grow more and more. With improving technology and increased investment from local authorities, we could soon be swapping car keys for tickets for good.