Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Street
The Street
Veronika Bondarenko

It's Cheaper to Take a Train Than a Plane to These Destinations

Depending on where you live, the train is either an ordinary way to get between cities or a mode of transportation conjuring up images of extreme luxury and Agatha Christie characters.

Iconic routes like the Maharajas Express in India and the Ghan Expedition in Australia can cost upwards of several thousands of dollars per night for luxury sleeper cars, fine dining and some of the most scenic views in the world. While not nearly as expensive, taking an Amtrak train across the US is also largely the domain of rail enthusiasts as it takes multiple days and costs significantly more than flying.

DON'T MISS: People Using ChatGPT Hack to Travel to Europe for Less Than $1,000

In countries like Japan, South Korea and much of Europe, the opposite is true as the train is simply a way to travel larger distances. The countries' highly-developed train networks allow passengers to choose between different travel classes and, in many cases, get from city to city very cheaply.


These Are Some Of The Cheapest Train Journeys You Can Take

While cross-country train travel is still often presented as a "scenic experience" for which tourists pay extra, British travel site Which? Travel recently crunched the numbers and found the international routes that would cost less by train than by plane. Two adults taking the night train between Paris and Vienna would spend £383 (roughly $483) but £351 (about $443) flying the same distance in an hour.

The difference is starker when bundling for "family travel" — two adults and two children would spend £453 (about $571) to go by train and £538 (about $677) to fly.

To go from Brussels to Berlin, two adults will spend £398 (about $502) by train compared to £352 (roughly $444) by plane while the price is £592 (about $747) vs. £758 (roughly $956) for two adults and four children.

'Fare Are Prohibitive For Many Travelers'

"While new sleeper train routes have launched across Europe, fares are prohibitive for many travelers," Travel Editor Rory Boland told The Independent. "[...] But the good news is that there are savings to be made for families and larger groups who can share train compartments."

In many cases, the savings are small in exchange for the much longer time it takes to go by train. But according to the team who put together the numbers, trains are attractive for many travelers who are interested in lowering their carbon footprint or simply seeing more of the country.

Many factors go into determining fare rates and, often, flying to smaller cities or remote parts of the country far away from a major airport will be significantly more expensive.

By train, going from London's Paddington Station to Penzance in Cornwall will cost £168 (about $212) while the same journey by plane will set two adults back £243 (roughly $306).

Given the limited scope of train travel in North America, the US is still largely a driving and flying kind of country. With the exception of certain routes between nearby East Coast cities like New York and Philadelphia, train travel remains a pricey novelty on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

"Many of us want to reduce our carbon footprint by swapping the plane for the train, but price remains a barrier," Boland said.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.