In another dimension:

For decades, three hours has been seen as the magic number, the journey time at which train travel becomes faster than flying on a centre-to-centre basis. But with stricter and more time-consuming airport security, plus frequent air traffic delays, that magic three hours is stretching. So much so, that Guillaume Pepy, CEO of SNCF (French national railways) has stated that this three hours has become four or perhaps five.

He cites Paris-Perpignan, where SNCF’s high-speed TGV takes five hours, yet where rail has captured 50% of the market.

It’s not only journey time that’s important. European high-speed trains typically achieve punctuality of 90-95% on time or within 15 minutes, whereas European airlines struggle to reach 63-68%. And with WiFi and power sockets for laptops, a train journey is often more productive.

The point in the first graph is one that anyone who flies understands all too well: as flying becomes slower, rail becomes faster.

Aren’t you glad that, as opposed to worrying about things like high speed rail service between, say, Charlotte and Chicago, your government keeps dicking around with whether rich people deserve permanent tax cuts, or even more importantly, ways to keep Muslim community centers out of Manhattan? Manhattan?

Makes you wonder about what qualifies as a pre-existing condition. Ah, freedom.

As seen on Atrios.