Sir - The train is hardly "more environmentally friendly" in densely populated areas of Western Europe and E F Chase (Letters, 12-18 July, P54) ignores the staunch opposition from environmental groups against the European high-speed transport (TGV).
I agree that trains are safe, but the BFr170 billion ($6 billion) mentioned in the letter is the updated cost for the Paris-Brussels link only (the original estimate was BFr50 billion) and does not include a future link with the Dutch railways, as Belgian and Dutch authorities disagree over where the tracks should meet. It is a mere figure of speech to refer to the cost of Sabena flying passengers between Brussels and Paris for ten years.
The European Community does not allow a government to subsidise its airline, but it does not object to unlimited amounts being handed out to competing railroads. This is not fair competition.
Source: Flight International