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However, this is not the time to get lyrical about the pleasures of long-distance train travel.
The first direct train between Paris and Amsterdam was established in 1927.
The , covered the 545 km long route in about eight hours.  During the subsequent decades, the rolling stock was modernised, the capacity of the line was extended with extra trains, and the length of the journey was gradually reduced.
By 1957, travel time had been shortened to five and a half hours, by 1971 it was five hours, and in 1995, the last year of its operation, the did the trip in four hours and 20 minutes.
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.
A look at European railway history shows that the choice for the elite high speed train is far from necessary.