For the eco-sensitive traveler, there is no excuse now for not taking the more environmentally friendly route through Europe, writes The Independent, among others. Rail companies are starting to advertise to the eco-conscious traveler as well. Who knew they cared so much about the environment, wink wink.
The truth is, Europe has been pumping a lot of money into upgrading its railways and encouraging people to take the train, rather than flying, especially if traveling only a short distance. With the budget airlines making it affordable, it is not uncommon for Europeans to fly from place to place even if it is only as little as 150 miles away because it is cheaper than taking the train.
Some of these new upgrades, however, might really make it better to take the train:
High-speed link between Madrid and Barcelona now only takes 2 and a half hours
The new east-west, Paris-toward the Rhine TGV route cruises at over 200mph and offers WI-Fi from Paris-Frankfurt
The new Lotschberg Base Tunnel through the Alps cuts an hour off the time of Basel-Milan trains
More upgrades, such as the long awaited Moscow-St. Petersburg fast train should be done next year.