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Showing posts with the label Rail

The deep freeze causes travel chaos

Greetings from a snow driven Genoa, where like most European cities weather conditions are below freezing and travel chaos is the natural consequence, with airports closing and long traffic build ups becoming the norm.

The only reliable advice I can give you for the coming Christmas is simply don't travel! I'm sure that this is precisely what many readers do not want to hear, due to family and festive commitments, but here are some reasons why not:

Freezing conditions caused widespread travel disruption and challenges throughout Europe. Few places in Eurozone were spared as air, rail and road traffic suffered delays, closure or disruption.

In particular Eurostar Channel Tunnel trains (between UK and France) came to a stand still somewhere in the 25 miles of tunnel track, as thousands of passengers waited with diminishing Oxygen levels inside carriages for up to 15-18 hours without food or water provisions! Eventually passengers were evacuated. Electrical problems were sited…

Greetings from the futuristic Berlin Hauptbahnhof station

Late summer greetings from the magnificent train station of Berlin Hauptbahnhof, which has the appearance of a futuristic universal travel centre, with its tubular glass lifts, its array of stainless steel moving stairways feeding multiple levels and a healthy selection of services.

Most trains appear to operate to a time precisioned and extremely well organised stress free system, without any evasive security checks whatsoever. The whole experience for the traveller is fluid, hassle free and convenient. So why is it that travel through an airport these days is so inconvenient, stressful and sometimes leaves one with a degrading feeling?

Trains carry hundreds of passengers, they frequently cover cross border routes, the main terminals cater for thousands of people and yet no intrusive or security or paranoia about liquids exists.

I am not campaigning for more security in train stations; on the contrary, I am saying we have gone too far in airports and I am calling for a more intellig…

Distrust of the Italian Airlines leads to growth on the track

In December 2008 a third more travellers were reported using the super new train service of Italy affectionately called "The Frecciarossa" which commutes between the mega cities of Rome and Milan. 

Clearly the Italian Railway is launching a competitive challenge to Alitalia, Air One and the Budget Airlines that frequent the skies of Italy. 

As I travel around Italy frequently, it comes as no surprise to me that would be travellers are seeking reliable and comfortable alternatives. All too often passengers are treated with contempt in Italy or treated as an inconvenience at the airport. The lost luggage situation and luggage handler pilfering of items in transit is notoriously bad in Italy and I recommend all travellers to try and avoid checking-in luggage. This would be true for neighbouring France also. 

Concerning the positive development of the Frecciarrossa (meaning Red Arrow) and its clean streamlined high-speed service that covers the 600KM journey from Milan to Rome in j…

Eurostar links UK with Switzerland

Eurostar high speed rail service has introduced through fares for as many as 18 Swiss cities.

The development was made possible as the Company teamed up with Lyria, which operates high speed trains between France and Switzerland, to provide passengers with 1 complete ticket for the entire journey.  

The key Swiss cities covered by the deal are Geneva, Lausanne, Zurich, Basel and Bern and the speediest journey involved are 6 hours 28 minutes to Geneva, 6 hours 19 minutes to Basel and 6 hours 50 minutes to Lausanne. The trips to Zurich and Bern both take more than 7 hours in total. 

Would be passengers will need to transfer from the Gare du Nord, where Eurostar arrives in Paris, to other main stations in the city. Return fares start from under £100, which is generally more than the Budget Airlines are charging, however potentially more convenient and hassle free. 

Eurostar’s Director of Communications Simon Montague said: “We are always looking at ways to facilitate greener travel throughou…