In Europe, it’s plane vs train. For many commuters, rail is the way to go.

Train travel in Europe is on the rise due to increased passenger interest, a renaissance in sleeper trains, and new investment in high-speed rail lines across the continent. But to see a big increase in passenger traffic – one of the goals of the European Green Deal – the continent’s railways will have to overcome a number of challenges, including booking difficulties and competition with short-haul flights, which remain the cheaper alternative. . Multiple multi-country routes.

In France and Austria, the pandemic has brought the planes-versus-trains question to the forefront. Air France’s COVID-19 bailout package from the French government required the airline to end domestic flights when there was a rail alternative that took 2½ hours to complete; The measure was later written into law.

The Austrian government placed a similar condition on its support to Austrian Airlines, demanding that the company eliminate its 50-minute flight between Vienna and Salzburg, a journey that passengers could make in about three hours by train.

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