Posts Tagged ‘man at seat sixty-one’

Letting the train take the strain

April 1, 2008

Comment to me by a member of the booking hall staff at a central European railway ticket office the other day:

“It would be cheaper for you to fly, you know.”

I have to confess, I was a bit taken aback. You don’t normally expect staff from one company to recommend the products of a competitor, but, more importantly, what hope have we of getting people out of ‘planes and onto high-speed rail if this is the attitude of the railway’s own staff?

For me, it’s not an option. My company has a ‘green’ travel policy and we go by train wherever possible, including Europe. It may take slightly longer (although this is not always as clear cut as some make out, when you consider the delays getting through airport check-in and baggage handling fiascos), but we use the time productively for work-based reading and just plain, old fashioned thinking. We also create far less CO2 into the bargain.

Planning these journeys is made much easier by a website that I’ve used for years and can wholeheartedly recommend: Mark Smith’s The Man in Seat Sixty-One. The site details what is required to travel, without flying, from the UK to any one of forty-odd European countries and many others further field.