High-speed rail causing turbulence for airlines


Across Asia and Europe, high-speed rail is providing a competitive alternative to air travel on comparative routes, in terms of price and door-to-door speed, reports Bloomberg.

Railways and airlines are generally competitive in travel distance up to 600 miles. For greater distances, many travelers consider flying a better option time wise. However, new technologies could change that line of thinking in the near future.

The new rail industry is seeing its most vibrant growth in China, which also has the world’s largest high-speed network, the fastest trains and the greatest ambitions for future expansion. With speeds of about 199 mph, Japan’s bullet trains have become the staple of domestic travel. In Europe, the Eurostar high-speed rail from London to Paris and Brussels served 10 million riders last year. With fares starting at $39, Eurostar offers passengers a competitive alternative to low-cost airlines.

Not surprisingly, the U.S. lags behind these countries in terms of total passengers and routes. But that could be changing as more short distance U.S. routes are being studied. (Source: Bloomberg)

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