France has banned short haul domestic air travel on routes that could be travelled by train in less than 2½ hours.

It only affects 12% of French domestic flights but has a huge CO2 effect, cutting omissions per passenger by 85%.

As it is Continental internal air travel is 70% (pre-Covid) Brits as no-one in their right mind would opt for the airport hassle as opposed to jumping on a high-speed train two minutes before departure and leaving and landing in the centre of cities.

There are high-speed trains currently in service in Spain, Japan, and China I’ve been on that would do Wellington to Auckland in less than two hours but we don’t have the traffic to support that yet.

The day will come.


Fine if power for electric railways is provided by Nuclear or water.

Except in our finite wisdom we made our track too narrow. Could we relay them.
Small length of a 2nd track Trentham to Upper Hutt is taking forever. To do the length of NZ. The human race would be gone before it is finished

Small electric and hydrogen powered vertical takeoff and landing aircraft will render high speed rail obsolete within the decade. They’ll be far cheaper and able to land in any suburb or remote locale desired and will soon be made autonomous to eliminate pilot costs. Once efficiencies of mass production kick in they can even work for city commuting https://youtu.be/OAKCbpwmrgI?t=118

    My money says this won’t happen. Why? Are they going to be autonomous or are they going to require pilots. If you require pilots, where are you going to get them from in sufficient numbers and if they are autonomous there is a lot more development going to be required before they are approved. Civil Aviation authorities will take a long long time to approve.

    Then there is the parking. Where are you going to put them all if they become small personal transport vehicles because they will be bigger than cars?

    I can’t see it happening in my lifetime.

I’m convinced there will be something more futuristic coming along; NZ made one very unluckily timed massive investment once already, with all those railway tracks all over the country at a time, the second half of the 1800’s, when there was no such thing as mechanized road transport. It was also assumed that these rails would be carrying people, and that the population would reach 30 million in a few decades. It has been a massive fiscal burden ever since, akin to the Concorde but nowhere near as pride-inducing. I hope we are luckier in future, and that our population rising and the new technology rolling out internationally, coincide better.

Personally I think “Dual Mode” has everything going for it, but the powers that be, bureaucratic inertia, and vested interests, don’t want it.



Extremely energy-efficient, renewable power generation included, and completely solves the “first mile” and “last mile” and “transfers” problem that bedevils trains and air (and even hyperloop). It is also extremely cheap to build because it assumes lightweight vehicles only. This is especially the case in challenging terrain where conventional rails or highways need support structures with tons and tons of concrete and steel.

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