A study by GoEuro, compares the cost of travelling 100km by train. Switzerland led the ranking with the most costly train trips in Europe. Travelling 100km in Switzerland cost CHF 52.
The study is based on the prices of 300 million domestic train journeys across Europe between April 2015 and April 2016.
The price differences are significant. In Ukraine (40th), the cheapest, a 100km train trip costs less than CHF 2. Even countries near the top, like second placed UK (CHF 26) and third placed Holland (CHF 24) were well behind Switzerland on cost. The UK is 51% cheaper than Switzerland, according to the survey’s figures.
Currency plays a big part in the difference. Ukraine’s currency has declined in value against the Euro by 76% over the last 8 years, while Switzerland’s strengthened by 45% over the same period.
What happens if exchange rate movements are factored in? Even after factoring in the rise of the Swiss franc, Swiss train prices are still ahead of the UK by around 30%.
It seems the only sure way to reduce the price gap is to use a Swiss Rail half fare travel card. A one year card costs CHF 185. Based on GoEuro’s prices, a half fare travel card pays for itself after eight 100km trips.
Switzerland’s neighbours all came in cheaper. In France (5th) a 100km train trip cost CHF 19.28, in Austria (8th) it cost CHF 14.46, in Germany (9th) it cost CHF 14.14, and in Italy (10th) it cost CHF 13.46.
High prices haven’t dampened Swiss enthusiasm for trains. A survey published late last year showed that Swiss residents covered more distance by train than any other nation in 2014. The average distance covered was 2,288km, more than double the distance travelled by an average Brit.
GoEuro survey (in English)