New interactive railway map shows how far you can travel in 5 hours – check out your own local station
A new interactive map shows the stark differences in train travel times for passengers across Europe – with the slow network around Wales a particularly noticeable feature.
French software engineer Benjamin Tran Dinh has created his Chrono Trains map using data from 30,000 stations across all of Europe.
The map, the first version of which launched at the end of July, shows how far on average you can go from any station, broken down by coloured divisions of within one hour, two hours, three hours, four hours, or five hours.
He originally created the map in order to show the differences between different areas of France when it comes to how far you can journey on average within five hours.
But it has now been expanded across Europe allowing users to compare stations in Wales with the rest of the UK and elsewhere on the continent.
Since launch, the map has been consistently updated and has now been visited by over a million people, he said.
Isochrones 😍 ! This map shows you how far a 5h train ride will take you, departing from any city in Europe.https://t.co/6F4dJ80N87
— Benjamin Td (@_benjamintd) July 29, 2022
It shows that travellers from Abererch in Gwynedd can barely make it the 25 or so miles out of Wales at all within five hours while a traveller from London could get as far as Cologne in Germany in the same time.
The map also highlights the lack of connections between the north and south of Wales, with travellers from Holyhead able to get to London in four hours but barely being able to make it to Cardiff in five.
It suggests that the biggest gap in Wales’ network is between mid-Wales and the south-west of Wales, with Carmarthen and Aberystwyth being only 40 miles apart but travel between them within five hours being impossible by train.
Benjamin Tran Dinh stresses however that in reality journey times might be even slower than those shown on the map.
“This assumes interchanges are 20 minutes, and transit between stations is a little over walking speed,” he says. “Therefore, these should be interpreted as optimal travel times. The journeys might not exist when taking into account real interchange times.
“Since there is no guarantee that trains will connect perfectly, the map tends to be overly optimistic.”
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