Is a flight really faster than a train? I put it to the test from London to Lyon | Tech US News


Although many of us regularly take trains within our country, we often don’t think to do the same when traveling abroad.

We can easily find excuses for the plane over the train: we don’t have enough holidays from work, the planes are cheaper, or we wouldn’t even know how to book a long distance train journey. But we wanted to test an excuse: to be in a hurry to reach our destination.

We have such an extensive network of trains throughout Europewhere you can depart from the city center, so maybe flying isn’t always the fastest option?

I decided to find out for myself when I needed to get to Euronews HQ Lyon from London In one direction I flew and in another I took the train. Here is what I learned.

How long does it really take to fly from London to Lyon?

I started my journey early on a Sunday morning in East London. The first leg was a taxi to London St station. Pancras, where I boarded the train to London Luton Airport.

I have to say this is my least favorite airport in London to travel to, only because the train station is not in the airport – you have to take a bus. If your train arrival coincides with the bus, you’re golden. If not, you might be waiting a while.

once inside the airport it was a quick process to drop mine off luggage and go through security. From walking out my door to walking into the departure lounge, it took two hours in total.

Unfortunately, as is common with flights and particularly with budget airlines, my flight was delayed for an hour This was especially annoying as I had just bought a quick breakfast to go as I didn’t think I had time for a sit down meal.

An hour later, and more than four hours after I left the house, I was finally at my door. It was quite a full flight so it took longer to board.

Finally, five hours after leaving home we were taking off. Of course, at this point, the journey accelerated. The flight time from London to Lyon is only one hour and 45 minutes, but the fact that it took me five hours to get there made me think about all the added time of flying.

When we arrived in Lyon, the queues going through passport control were huge. It took me about 40 minutes to get off the plane, go through passport control and finally pick up my luggage. These are of course all normal parts of flying – I just became very aware of them as I had a timer running on my journey.

Once outside the airport, I hopped on the Rhonexpress tram which takes you to Lyon Part-Dieu, the main train station in the city centre. The service runs four times an hour and takes about 30 minutes, so there’s never a long wait.

I arrived at Lyon Part-Dieu station eight hours after leaving home in London. From there I got in a taxi to cross the city to where I was staying.

In total, door to door, the journey took me eight hours and 25 minutes. While it’s not as bad as it could have been, six hours and 40 minutes of extra time off the flight does seem like a lot.

How long does the Lyon to London train take?

For my journey back to the UK I took a bus from my accommodation in Lyon to the train station, a train to Paris, a metro to change stations in Paristhe Eurostar to London and then a taxi home.

The train stops Paris I stopped at two stations in Lyon, which meant I could board the one closest to my house – just five minutes by bus.

I left my house certainly too early. But I hadn’t been to that station before and Sunday services are a bit irregular so I didn’t want to stress myself out.

The TGV train from Lyon to Paris it takes less than two hours. I traveled in business class on the upper deck, which made for a very pleasant experience. The train was quiet, had a great view, the seat was spacious and had several outlets to charge my electricity.

Three hours after leaving the house he had arrived at Paris Gare de Lyon. By hour three of my flight, I had been sitting in the airport for an hour. It was interesting to compare how much progress he had made in my travels

The Eurostar to London departs from Paris Gare du Nord station, so I took the D train three stops to get there. Exiting the metro at Gare du Nord, the Eurostar was not signposted at first, but I soon found where to go.

The general advice for Eurostar is to arrive 60-90 minutes before the train departs to give yourself plenty of time to get through passport control and security, even if there are long queues.

A big plus is that you go through French and British passport control before your trip, so even though it might take a little longer beforehand, it’s a quick exit at the other end.

I traveled in Business Class on the Eurostar. This meant he could take up to three suitcases with no weight limit on board (as long as he can lift them). It also means you can speed up security. If you really want to reduce your travel time, this is a great way to do it. Plus, once you’re checked in, you get access to the Business Class lounge, where there are free drinks and snacks.

Less than five hours after leaving home, full of coffee and muffins, I was on board the Eurostar in Paris waiting to depart for London.

The journey to London took 2 hours and 17 minutes, during which time I was served a delicious three-course meal designed with Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc OBE. With wine, of course.

Once again the journey was quiet, relaxing and in a great comfortable seat. I really enjoyed seeing the sights as we traveled through France and the whole trip felt like a real treat rather than a mess at the end of a trip.

I arrived at London St. Pancras 7 hours and 40 minutes after leaving Lyon’s house. From there I got in a taxi home and door to door the journey came to eight hours and ten minutes. Fifteen minutes faster than my plane trip.

Is taking the train more expensive than flying?

Weather is not always the main factor when choosing how to travel. More than ever, cost plays an important role for most travelers.

On the way to Lyon I flew with easyJet and on the way back, I traveled in Eurostar Business Class which is obviously more expensive. However, if you buy as part of a return, you can get standard class Eurostar tickets for as little as €45, although there is currently a sale with prices starting at €29.

Here’s a rough breakdown of costs to help you compare.

Traveling by plane

Taxi from London Zone 2 to St. Pancreas: €12.23

Train ticket to Luton Airport: €16.00

Airline ticket (including one hold bag): €64.65

Rhonexpress tram to Lyon: €16.30

Taxi to accommodation: €24.40

TOTAL: €133.58

Traveling by train

Bus to train station: €1.80

TGV to Paris: €16

Paris Metro: €1.90

Eurostar to London: €45 (if purchased as part of a return)

Taxi home: €14.33

TOTAL: €79.03

Of course, prices can vary widely, depending on many factors. Follow these tips to find the cheapest flights.

According to Eurostar, to find the best deal you need to book in advance – they have an 11 month booking window for any of you super organized travellers. They also suggest traveling mid-week: Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days for the cheapest fares.

Is traveling by train faster than flying?

In the grand scheme of things, I’d say the journey between Lyon and London was about the same length whether you travel by plane or train.

I personally found the train journey much more peaceful and relaxing. If you can afford it, I highly recommend traveling in business class to get your vacation off to a good start. an enjoyable part of the holiday rather than just the journey to get there.

Also, take the train is much better for the environment. A journey on the Eurostar from London to Paris produces 14 times less emissions than a flight for the same journey.

So if it takes the same amount of time and isn’t more expensive, why not? take the train for your next vacation?

Watch the video above to learn more about train travel.


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