In what may sound strange and a wake-up call to the Nigerian transport authorities at the helm of government affairs in the past 59 years after the country disentagled herself from the claws and apron strings of colonial rule, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is to replace one of its five daily flights between Brussels and Amsterdam Schiphol with reserved seat capacity on a Thalys high speed train service from March 29, 2020.
While cities have rail tracks linking into their airport, the reverse is the case as in Nigeria today, apart from the Nnamdi International Airport Abuja that was linked to a passenger train service few years ago which many described as after thought on the part of the city planners, no other airport can be said to have an inter-connectivity of either the passenger of freight rail train service linked to it.
The KLM Royal Dutch Airlines connectivity to train service is intended as the first step in a programme to gradually cut back the number of flights between Brussels and Amsterdam, with passengers using rail to connect with intercontinental flights at Schiphol. This would support the airline’s sustainability initiatives, and enable airport slots to be used for flights to long-haul destinations.
KLM said it was favour of replacing short-haul flights with rail ‘as long as trains fully match the speed, reliability and comfort that air travel offers’.
According to Pieter Elbers, President & CEO of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, ‘Intermodal transport involving trains and planes remains a complex and challenging businesses,. ‘Speed is key, not only in terms of the train itself, but also the transfer process at the airport. We aim to make maximum progress in both areas. Reducing our frequency from five to four flights a day is a good way of gaining more experience with Air&Rail services’.
High-speed rail is a type of rail transport that operates significantly faster than traditional rail traffic, using an integrated system of specialized rolling stock and dedicated tracks.
There are different types, operational speed and average speed of speed trains. For instance, while a high speed train runs on an operational speed of between 300 and 350 kilometers per hour and average speed of 250 kilometers per hour, semi-high speed trains does between 160 and 200 kilometers oer hour with average speed of 110 kilometers per hour.
Express trains runs between 110-140 kilometers per hour and 60 kilometers per hour to 90 kilometers per hour average speed, even as passenger train does between 50 kilometers per hour and 70 kilometers per hour and between 30 kilometers per hour and 40 kilometers per hour.
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