Monday, March 17, 2014

"High-speed rail beats air travel for the first time"

One of the AVE networks high-speed trains. / Mariano Cieza Moreno (EFE)

As part of my next book I plan to take trains across Spain and Catalunya this summer. Personally, I don't intend to use high-speed rail (because I prefer the slower version, when I have the time) but I am very pleased about this weeks news. Overall, train travel is far superior to air travel in my view, and is a vital part of any country's infrastructure...

"For the first time ever, high-speed rail has outpaced air travel in Spain.

Figures released by the National Statistics Institute (INE) this week show that 1.9 million people used the country's extensive AVE network in January compared with 1.8 million people who bought plane tickets.

This represents a 7.3-percent year-on-year drop for airplane travel and a 22-percent rise in high-speed rail journeys.

For the aviation sector, the number is the 28th straight month of decline, while the railway network has seen 11 back-to-back months of growth.
The AVE has become more popular ever since the Public Works Ministry made the decision to lower the fares in February of last year. Meanwhile, airlines have experienced a hike in taxes and a cut in their flight routes."

Source: El País, here.

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