The reality, however, is that high speed train travel between European cities that are less than 550 kilometers apart is actually more efficient than flying according to a recent study.
Think about it. Most European airports are not only way outside the city center, but also eat up your time with security, boarding, and that pesky rule about getting there an hour before flight time.
Train stations, on the other hand, are usually located in the center of town and passengers can arrive just moments before their departure time.
The actual time spent traveling is much longer on a train, but the overall journey tends to be about the same length of time or perhaps just a bit longer. The important difference here, especially for business travelers, is that almost all of your travel time on a train can be spent working. There is no turning off your electronic equipment, putting it through an x-ray machine, or standing in long lines. Your laptop can be opened the moment you sit down and you can plug away uninterrupted until you arrive at your destination.
The efficiencies of high speed train travel, however, are only gained with journeys that are four hours or less. Planes become increasingly more efficient with your time over longer journeys.