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Rail Group Investigates Value for Money

By Linda Tancs

Anyone who has traveled by train in Britain (whether short- or long-haul) has experienced those heart-stopping fares. I’ve often wondered why rail travel is so darned expensive–or is it just my imagination, coupled perhaps with a bad exchange rate? Apparently, my thoughts are well justified. The watchdog group Passenger Focus has released a report this month analyzing such variables as local travel, long-distance travel, comparative rates in other countries and value for money perceptions. Among the many findings: Londoners have a low perception of value for money, soft factors such as cleanliness of trains and well-lit stations inform overall perceptions as well as pricing, and continental comparisons illustrate a general comity among frequency of service although journey speed is more highly rated in continental Europe. Generally speaking, Britain fares (no pun intended) better with pricing for advance bookings than with restricted or unrestricted day returns. Want to learn more? You can download the 38-page report.

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