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Why is the longer train journey becoming a trend?

The longer train journey is certainly becoming a travel trend this year. It is rising to the forefront of consumers’ minds for many reasons, but the dominant factor is that train travel is the most environmental means of transportation.

So, why would you choose a train journey over a short-haul plane journey? Well, for starters, a train journey means that you’ll eliminate the long security queues in airports and the unnecessary wait times between checking in and boarding which makes short-haul flights significantly longer. Plus, you can carry more luggage at no extra cost and enjoy all of the advances in passenger technologies, including trackside railway connectivity.

Research by Booking.com also suggests that “travellers are increasingly looking to take longer routes to take in the scenery, enjoy the experience, and reduce their environmental impact.”

With more options for long-haul train journeys and the popularity increasing for this method of transportation, we’ve outlined some key reasons why the longer train journey is becoming a top travel trend.

A new focus on green transport

Climate change is a daily headline and rail travel has a vital role to play in the future of this issue. Nomad is passionate about developing rail connectivity solutions that help to support the reduction in our carbon footprint. We do this by offering seamless journeys and encouraging people to use trains over cars and planes.

We see this point backed up by the fact that some European citizens (mainly from Northern and Central Europe) are replacing, through their own inititaive, air travel with train travel. Last year, Deutsche Welle published an interesting benchmarking analysis. It shared figures comparing the cost, duration and impact of air travel between some of the main European cities. The data presented is mind-blowing, especially concerning the level of carbon dioxide emissions. As it stands, around 0.3% of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels come from rail; this compares to about 2% for global aviation.

In Austria, there has been an increased role for rail to play due to the introduction of the Austria Airlines (AUA) rescue package from the Austrian state. So, in addition to AUA climate commitments and air traffic regulations, there will be an increased expansion of public transport. Alongside the €500 million already pledged as part of the rescue agreement, there will now be €10 million added to that per annum too. The extra financial gain will flow primarily into new night trains, which should replace short-haul flights and, as a result, promotes the trend for longer train journeys.

In general, it is expected that all short-haul flights, where there is a rail connection of fewer than three hours, will be eliminated. While this will become at least a fixed part of the climate deal with AUA, it is still unclear whether it will also apply to other airlines.

Finally, as Nomad is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alstom, we are proud to be leading the way to greener and smarter mobility worldwide. Alstom is developing and marketing integrated systems that provide sustainable foundations for the future of transportation. Yet, at the same time, it is offering a complete range of equipment and services from high-speed trains, metros, trams and e-buses to integrated systems, customised services, infrastructure, signalling and digital mobility solutions.

What does better digital connectivity add to rail and road travel?

This is a vast topic and one that can be answered in many ways. However, looking at it from a passenger experience point of view is essential. The ever-growing number of transport passengers identify railway WiFi and other digital connectivity factors as a reason for choosing a particular operator. This allows transport organisations to respond to customer demands through class-leading technologies that provide an outstanding passenger experience.

Technology is constantly developing and products which provide an intelligent journey on trains and other transport services have dramatically improved. For example, Nomad’s ‘Engage Portal’ delivers on-demand, managed content directly to passengers’ own devices, such as a tablets, smartphones or laptops. The key attributing factors of using this passenger information system is its ability to offer information, entertainment and premium content to passengers, in a secure and rights-protected way. Using the vehicle’s existing IP network as an extension of the passenger WiFi service, the portal can be maintained using an on-shore content management solution designed specifically for transport and rail environments.

The Engage Portal is more than just a website

The Engage Portal is a platform for new services that can be distributed to hundreds of vehicles in real-time. The content can range from simple static pages, updated as required, to rich interactive media, providing a second-to-none customer experience. This content can be distributed to trains and buses in a planned, controlled manner both efficiently and economically. The content is hosted, accessed and browsed using on-board systems, rather than valuable WiFi bandwidth, which assists WiFi and data management.

Innovation is always key

As passengers continue to demand seamless connectivity and the other value-adding services that come with it, transport operators must stay ahead of the game and Nomad must continue to drive its solutions with passenger experience and innovation at the forefront.

Learn more about our Passenger Experience solutions