Now we’ve all gone green and air travel is frowned upon, thank goodness for high-speed trains. We can all sit back while whizzing between Amsterdam and Paris or Amsterdam and London in a couple of hours. Well that’s the theory.
The French have been running high-speed trains for decades of course. Even the English have finally managed to finish their high-speed track and a new station, cutting 20 minutes off travel time between London and Paris.
And the Dutch? Get on the Thalys in Amsterdam and not only is the journey into Belgium not remotely high-speed, it also keeps stopping. Travel by Eurostar to London and you first have to endure the same tedious journey as far as Brussels.
The Dutch high-speed link should have been operating last year, but the start date now seems likely to be 2008, thanks to endless planning procedures, political argument and technical problems.
We are promised a three-hour trip from Amsterdam to Paris. But what’s the betting that even when we have the tracks and trains the journey times will not come down all that much? The Dutch trains stop at Schiphol and Rotterdam so there are only 85 km of actual high-speed track.
They’ve been working on this project since 1994. That’s definately high-speed project development for you.
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