Deutsche Bahn and SNCF take on the airlines

It is now the 5th anniversary of the inauguration of the high speed service between Frankfurt (Main) and Paris Est. A joint project between Deutsche Bahn AG and Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français it uses both the German ICE 3M Class 406 units and the French TGV POS Reseau. After some inital technical difficulties with the ICEs the service found its stride and is carrying roughly 1,6 million passengers per year. Around 30000 round trips have been made and the passenger numbers are still climbing. The travel time city center to city center is a bit over 3 hours, thus very competetive with airline service. Deutsche Bahn claims it now has a roughly 60 per cent share of the travel market between Paris and Frankfurt. 

I have seen this dynamic before on the Eurostar lines between London and Paris/Brussels. Nowadays there are not many direct airline connections left between those cities. In my humble opinion that is a good thing. 

Picture by Matthew Black, London