Why fly?

Seriously, why do people automatically assume that any journey between capitals requires flying? I will pick one particular example, a journey I have done several times and my choice has always been the same: going from Edinburgh to London, the best choice is always the train.

Q: Huh? Are you really advocating taking a train in the UK?

A: Yes, that’s exactly right.

Q: But how long will it take?

A: Less time than you think… in fact, just 4 and a half hours.

Q: 4h30? But a flight takes far less time: 1h30 at most.

A: Think again. The flight, perhaps; but did you take into account getting to the airport, on time, going through security, then getting to the city centre at the other end?

Q: Hmm, I guess… so even flying might add up to 4h, you think?

A: At least. Overall travel time is pretty balanced.

Q: What about cost?

A: That depends. In theory, it’s pretty even, but if you can buy in advance (even by only a few days), train fares are significantly cheaper. There’s also a range of railcards available, which give 1/3 off your fare and are often worthwhile buying even for one trip (when ticket price is over £100).

Q: Are there any other advantages?

A: Many, but my favourite is the fact that once you board the train, you can sit down and sit/sleep/work/read/listen to music/watch a film, undisturbed for the entire journey time, instead of having to check in, drop-off your luggage, drink all your liquids, strip off all metallic belongings, go through security, buy a new drink, find your gate, wait to board and switch off all electronic devices – and that’s before your plane has even taken off!

Q: You know what…?

A: I think I do. 😉

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