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.

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A one-way trip costs €66, half the price of the most common fare of the It's an adventure, not a regular train ride.

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.

However, this is not the time to get lyrical about the pleasures of long-distance train travel.

Every year, it becomes harder to keep my promise, and the advance of the high speed train is to blame.

A look at European railway history shows that the choice for the elite high speed train is far from necessary.

Earlier efforts to organize speedy international rail services in Europe accompanied affordable prices and different ways to increase the speed and comfort of a rail trip.Since then, I have been travelling across Europe almost exlusively by train (apart from the occasional boat trip), good for some 70,000 km of long-distance travel.I went as far north as Helsinki, as far south as Málaga, and as far east as Budapest.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- , on the other hand, is determined by market demand and booking time.If you order well in advance and if your departure time is not fixed, you might get a single ticket for as less as €44 -- two thirds of the kilometre rate.Europe has the most amazing railway network in the world.