But here’s the catch – those numbers come from how the world was decades ago. Including the assumption that being on a train means being unable to do business, one can only sit there travelling to do business. No one who has actually been in a first class compartment in the past decade or two can possibly believe that this is how people work today. Mobile phones, then mobile internet (yes, trains do have it these days) have entirely changed that. Work is done on the move. In fact, scratch a regular traveller and you might well find an agreement that travel time is more productive these days.
Thus the major (and yes, really, it is *the* major) benefit in our cost benefit analysis of fast train sets does not exist.
That is, if we wire the country so that the internet is available anywhere and anywhen then we’ve entirely destroyed the economic case for fast train sets.