Why Trains Are So Expensive (Sometimes More Than Flights)

Have you noticed, when shopping for travel tickets, you occasionally come across prices that defy logic? All the time! For instance, you can get to your destination in 1 hour by plane or take a train for 7 hours and pay way more money! How are these fares fair? And how would you fair with these fares?

And how do these passenger rail companies stay in business if air travel is faster and cheaper?! Well, trains do have their perks. The obvious benefits are catching it right in the city versus having to fight traffic all the way to the airport. You can also take as many liquids with you as you want, and there’s no stress at all if you’re afraid of flying! But the real explanations behind why train tickets cost so much have less to do with comfort and emotions and more about practicality…

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No roads in the sky 1:11
The largest expense 3:05
How much do passenger train companies actually make? ???? 4:24
Why things are easier for railroads in Europe 6:07
❗️ The most expensive rides in the world:
– The Maharajas Express Luxury Train, India 6:49
– The Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express, Russia 7:28
– Royal Scotsman, the UK 8:08

#trains #railroads #brightside

– When you travel by plane, it takes off at a certain airport and lands at another. The journey itself, no matter how long it is, happens up in the air, which needs no physical maintenance.
– Trains, however, run on tracks. And to be able to move on those at high speeds, or even move on them at all, the tracks need to be in good condition.
– From time to time, sections of tracks and ballast need to be renewed. While most of this work is now done by specialized machines, the materials and those machines don’t come cheap!
– Expanding the route network and building new tracks is extremely expensive as well – just 1 mile costs over a million bucks!
– Just 1 locomotive traveling from DC to New York will run you about $6.5 million if you’re interested in buying!
– The largest expense, however, is not the tracks or the trains – it’s the people servicing them.
– Like any company, and in this case a huge one, Amtrak needs to pay someone to run the business. So, 3% of the ticket price is used to cover administrative costs.
– Even though everyone knows their name, Amtrak still has to advertise good deals and new rides. That’s another 2% of the cost.
– There are also settlement fees the company has to bear. Yes, trains are an incredibly safe kind of transportation. But accidents still happen, and around 1% of that ticket cost would go to those who get affected by them.
– In the end, you can see that the profit for the company is roughly 35% of the average price for this ride.
– Things are easier for railroads in Europe because they have smaller territories to cover and connect with tracks, and much more passengers and trains traveling on those lines.
– The Maharajas Express luxury train travels across Northwest and Central India and goes through most of the major tourist spots of the country. It consists of 23 cars and is basically a temporary palace for 88 guests.
– The Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express fit for Russian tsars starts in Moscow and goes all the way across the world’s largest country to the eastern city of Vladivostok in 15 days and 14 nights.
– Unless you’re friends with the royal family and get personal invites to their festive receptions, you’ll definitely be amazed by a ride with the Royal Scotsman.
– The shortest possible tour lasts 3 days, and costs start at around $3,000 per passenger.

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24 Replies to “Why Trains Are So Expensive (Sometimes More Than Flights)”

  1. Here in the States, outside of the Acela service area, very few people use Amtrak because it's so SLOOOWWW. (Even the Acela line and Brightline aren't all that fast compared to trains in Japan, China, and Western Europe.)

    Something else to note is that high speed rail in particular is only intended for regional use, NOT for transcontinental crossings.

  2. I once took 3 trains from Livingston north to Bridlington. It took 4 hours, and I stayed at Bridlington for a week!

  3. In China, bullet train ticket price is only related to the travel distance. For 350KM/H High speed train, it's about 0.07 USD/km, that is 70 USD for a 1000 KM travel.
    Regarding the sub-highspeed train with speed of 250KM/h, the price is 35% lower.

  4. Your numbers don't add up. You didn't add in the enormous cost of buying and maintaining airplanes or the fact that pilots get paid more. In countries where they have high speed rail, it is always cheaper and faster to take the train on journeys up to 500 miles, because when you add in time to the airport, waiting time, plus time to get your luggage and to the center of a city, it is usually five hours.

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