Poland offers affordable train travel in Europe

Thursday, August 10, 2023


A report by an environmental group has revealed that train tickets in Poland are among the cheapest transportation option in Europe, with the price being only half as high as air travel.

The report, which is based on 112 travel itineraries in Europe, shows that the difference in train and air travel tickets was the most notable in Spain, with rail being 3.9 times more expensive than airplane fares, following the United Kingdom, which has the highest discrepancy in ticket prices around four times more expensive train tickets than air travel, Schengen Visa website reports.

Furthermore, air travel is 2.6 times more affordable than rail fares in Belgium and France, followed by those in Italy (2.5 times), Switzerland (1.7), Germany (1.5), Norway (1.4), and Sweden (1.3).

The report also reveals that in 79 out of 112 of the routes analysed, flights are less expensive than rail, with the latter, on average, being twice as expensive as flights.

On the other hand, the impact of flying can be 80 times worse environmentally than taking a train.

Only 23 out of 112 routes, meaning that less than one-third of the total routes are cheaper by train than a plane, and often, they are decent train trips, while others have slow train connections, such as Tallin-Riga and Warsaw-Ljubljana.

The highest price of the flight for a trip on the same day is carried out on the Barcelona-London route, with the train ticket costing up to 30 times more.

Other routes that are quite expensive include London-Bratislava, with the train tickets costing 15.5 times more than airfares, followed by Budapest-Brussels (12.5 times), Madrid–Brussels (15 times), Valencia–Paris (12 times) and Rome-Vienna (10.2 times) routes.

Countries in Western Europe, such as France, Belgium, and the UK, have higher train ticket prices, while the routes in Central Europe have more affordable rail options than flights.

However, train frequency, speed, connections, and services are usually less convenient than in Western countries.

Furthermore, some of the most effective train routes include those of Amsterdam–London, London–Edinburgh, and Toulouse–Paris, with around four to 4.5 hours by train each, and are still among the most popular short-haul flights in the region, while flights on these routes remain much cheaper.

Low-cost carriers are quite common all over Europe, with them operating 79 per cent of the routes mentioned above, while the rest of the transfer flights operated by low-cost airlines are the cheapest flight options.

Their impact on the environment is serious, as transfer flights are estimated to be ten times more polluting than direct flights.

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