Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Travel comparison

with 3 comments

I have just booked online a train journey between Rome and Florence – and back. That’s 284km and will take about 90 minutes each way, on one of these.

And just to compare I asked Google how long the trip from Vancouver to Seattle would take. That’s 227km and it says 3 hours and 10 minutes “in traffic” midday and ignores the line up at the border. By train the Amtrak Cascades schedule says 4 hours and 25 minutes.  Or 3:45 on the bus!


Written by Stephen Rees

February 13, 2014 at 1:22 pm

3 Responses

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  1. 3:45 on the bus depends on the bus line and departure time one takes – some are close together and if one is in the coach that arrives at the Pacific Crossing as the last of three or four coaches, the wait to clear customs and immigration can be up to an hour. Conversely, if one is lucky enough to be on the first coach to arrive at the crossing, it can take only 10 or 15 minutes.

    Marc Erickson

    February 13, 2014 at 7:08 pm

  2. Sigh, I am always so saddened when I do comparisons with Europe for travel. Even though most of the rail lines I use are in Switzerland and not ‘high’ speed they are still very fast and reliable….and generally are still faster than car. That said we are not Europe and we will eventually get there….(I hope). Long term a ‘higher’ speed rail link with Seattle is a no brainer but I see it as an incremental process (ie first a new Fraser River crossing then….then…then…till eventually it is pretty fast). Not sure true high speed rail would be worth the extra cost. Sure would be nice to have trains that would average 150km/hr or so……


    February 13, 2014 at 7:56 pm

  3. None of us will be able to take a fast train, much less a high speed one, from Vancouver to Seattle in our lifetime….
    Incidentally , Japan got to be the best country for the sheer number of daily trains, except for a few far-away towns on the other side of the mountains…

    When I visit the Osaka region I usually stay in Kobe (population 1.4 million. It looks like the North shore and is nearly as close to Osaka as Richmond is to Vancouver).

    There is a choice of 3 different private railway companies between Kobe and Osaka.
    2 of them have side by side stations in a main station called Sannomiya, and the 3rd company station is a block away (under a department store) with links to the other 2 stations by an underground shopping mall…

    If one is willing to travel at off-peak hours (recommended to tourists to avoid crowds) one can buy discounted tickets..

    A great blog about Japanese trains:
    Even if one can’t read French, there are always the photos and videos…

    Red frog

    February 14, 2014 at 1:36 pm

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