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Most tickets, even if ordered two or three weeks in advance, cost €119 or €129 -- almost three times as much as the widely promoted fares .
The itinerary of these services is indicated by the red line in the illustration on the right. It takes another, somewhat longer route via Lille, which is depicted by the blue line on the illustration.The final link between Barcelona and the French border was inaugurated December 15, 2013. The section between Paris and Amsterdam is a busy trajectory with a long history.The first direct train between Paris and Amsterdam was established in 1927.A look at European railway history shows that the choice for the elite high speed train is far from necessary.Earlier efforts to organize speedy international rail services in Europe accompanied affordable prices and different ways to increase the speed and comfort of a rail trip.The introduction of a high speed train connection invariably accompanies the elimination of a slightly slower, but much more affordable, alternative route, forcing passengers to use the new and more expensive product, or abandon the train altogether.
As a result, business people switch from full-service planes to high speed trains, while the majority of Europeans are pushed into cars, coaches and low-cost airplanes.
Europe has the most amazing railway network in the world.
It gets you anywhere, anytime, and it's much more fun and interesting to travel by train than by air.
These heavily advertised prices, however, are the exception rather than the rule.
If you buy a single ticket the day of your departure, you pay €206, almost five times as much.
Since then, I have been travelling across Europe almost exlusively by train (apart from the occasional boat trip), good for some 70,000 km of long-distance travel.