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October 31, 2006



Branson has invested over 3 billion pounds in Virgin Rail already. He got into rail transport 10 years ago. From time to time Virgin explores expansion outside Britain, but nothing has come of that yet.

The rail alternative to flying is very real in Europe. It is even viable for a few routes in the US, and steady traffic increases indicate that the public is using it. I may travel mostly at peak times, but every intercity train that I've been on since June this year has been sold out. The Amtrak figures confirm an increase.

TM Lutas

fairhavenhorn - The US is just getting out from under some truly awful regulation regimes so I'm not surprised that ridership is up. The US is unlikely to ever be as train friendly as Europe so long as its population density remains 1/9th of the EU average. As the megalopolii spread up and down the coasts and the great lakes, there will be practical train service spreading with them.

By 2050 we are likely to have shifted off of petrol, even for aviation uses, as fuel cells increase their capabilities by leaps and bounds. Straight line projections are not very useful right now for 40 year periods in transport.

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