I can see that working in the northeast corridor, Boston to DC. iirc, rail passenger service has worked fairly well in that area, vs the rest of the country. According to Investopedia, 52% of Amtrak’s ticket revenue is from that corridor, which is 457 miles long, out of the total of 21,400 miles of track that Amtrak runs over, nationally. For comparison France is about 600 miles across, so the concept of banning many short haul flights in the NEC, is quite comparable to banning short flights in France.
Amtrak travel time: Boston to NYC 3hr. 45 minutes on an Acela. NYC to Philly 1hr 11min. NYC to Balto: 2hr, 17 minutes on an Acela. DC to Balto: 29 min on an Acela. The “Lobbyist special”, NYC to DC 2hr 45. Not all trips are on an Acela.
France is renowned for having trains that are so fast they make an Acela (150mph) look silly, running from 186, to, the latest models running at 199mph.
France’s high-speed rail system is basically designed to go to and from Paris. If you are in Bordeaux on the Atlantic and want to go to Nice on the Mediterranean (a distance of less than 400 miles) by train the travel time will be over nine hours. https://www.rome2rio.com/s/Bordeaux/Nice
A train trip from Paris to Nice is just under six hours so you would be better off flying.
Thanks for the link. Interesting reading. So the planes are a bit faster than an Acela, and maybe a bit cheaper. The advantage of the train is the lobbyists don’t need to have the TSA digging through their suitcases full of “protected free speech”
NYC to Detroit takes 29hrs, or more, with a train change along the way. In comparison, when my dad and I went to NYC by road, on the return trip, dad put the spurs to the 64 Galaxie and we were back in Motown the same day.
Check out the Acela Wikipedia page on Acela Operating Speeds. There is only about 50 miles of track on the 457 mile route between DC and Boston where the train can operate at 150 mph. And even on those sections it may be delayed for conflicting train traffic. With stops, the trains only average 70 mph over the whole route.
Back around 1962 a railroad fan told me that downtown to downtown Boston to NYC was just as fast by train as by air. He also said that in Winter trains to Chicago were less likely to be disrupted by snow than planes.
The travel times I posted are straight from the Amtrak schedule on their web site, so includes allowances for wonky track and station stops. The French TGVs tend to operate on dedicated tracks, and can really cook.
While the French trains cruise at 186-199mph, a few years ago, they did a test run to find maximum speed: 574.8kph/357mph