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Madness - The Lyorn's Den — LiveJournal

Thu Jan. 31st, 2008

02:24 pm - Madness

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I just discovered that for one person travelling about 600 km who needs stops of unsure lengths en route, renting a car plus paying for petrol at 1,40 Euro a litre cost about the same as taking the train. And its not even a Smart car. And rental is far easier to do than buying a train ticket.

What is it with the trains? The suck in everything but speed on the prime routes.



Date:January 31st, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC)

Train madness

Yes, those trains are mad. I did the maths once, and I come out about even travelling by train or taking the car, paying for gas and P&R in Bamberg when travelling from Erlangen and back. While that would theoretically speak for the train, I need at most one hour with the car from doorstep to city center, and almost double that time with the train.
Aside from high speed on prime routes, there are also night trains. If by chance you want to go from a place where they start to a place where they end and are able to book far in advance, that is pretty cheap, too. And it saves you a day or so of travel time.

Well, at least they got their dispute settled, so there'll be less train people on strike...

Greetings from K. ; )
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Date:February 1st, 2008 09:59 am (UTC)

More or less Madness

There's one reason to take a train for travelling, at least in my opinion: I don't like driving long distances all by myself. Last christmas I went to Zurich in Switzerland, which is about 450km (280 miles) from home. It might have taken a bit less time to go by car and it would have cost about the same, but taking the train was the better option for me - I spent most of the 12 hours for the journey there and back again (trains in Switzerland take it really easy and slow) reading*, which is simply impossible while driving.
So in case I can afford the time I still take the train quite willingly.
(*to be specific, I read Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman and can only recommend the book!)
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Date:February 1st, 2008 01:29 pm (UTC)

Re: More or less Madness

I actually like taking the train -- it's still cheaper than owning a car, and less hassle and faster than driving or flying.

But the amount of hoops they make you jump through to get one of the price-reduced tickets are absurd. Not only do you have to know the exact train you want to take, including changes of train (which undoes most of the benefits of a hourly train schedule), and buy weeks in advance, but you need a credit card to your own name (buying tickets for someone else might bring the end of trains as we know them, apparently), a fast internet connection and a printer.

But as I have the car and are already paying for it, if I drive it or not, I take the train only if my employer pays the fare and I get the flexibility that coughing up twice the money buys.
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Date:February 4th, 2008 07:30 pm (UTC)


Well on the plus side of taking a car is the fact, that I have already a traveling companion who's taking part of the fare. This is a nice way of meeting people and my experiences with "Mitfahrgelegenheit.de" have been a hundered percent positive.
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