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As a regular long-distance train traveller in Europe, I have to say that the opposite is true.

High speed rail is destroying the most valuable alternative to the airplane; the "low speed" rail network that has been in service for decades.

Europe has the most amazing railway network in the world.

It gets you anywhere, anytime, and it's much more fun and interesting to travel by train than by air.

As an example, let's have a look at the route which I cover most often: from Barcelona, Spain (where I live) to the Netherlands and Belgium (where I grew up).

It is now possible to travel all the way from Barcelona to Amsterdam by high speed train, a trip of 1,700 km.

And it's become even more unpredictable since December 2012, when the train service between Jeumont (the French border town) and Erquelinnes (the Belgian border town) was suspended.

The introduction of a high speed train connection invariably accompanies the elimination of a slightly slower, but much more affordable, alternative route, forcing passengers to use the new and more expensive product, or abandon the train altogether.

As a result, business people switch from full-service planes to high speed trains, while the majority of Europeans are pushed into cars, coaches and low-cost airplanes.

Quite a few of these services were even faster than today's high speed trains.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Article also available in French, Spanish and German.

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