In Britain 99 million working days and an additional ₤9bn are added to the economy through commuter’s use of “on the move” technology according to a recent report by CBS Outdoor. This “on the move” technology includes Laptops and BlackBerrys amongst other forms, and is generally utilised to good effect whilst commuting on public transport. This commuting culture in Britain is extended across most of Western Europe and in these countries rail is one of, if not the preferred method of public transport. (http://www.cbsoutdoor.co.uk/web/Research/Key-research-projects.htm)
Rail holds this position for a number of reasons; speed, direct city centre to city centre travel and comfort among others, but as Arbelado Carillo, the director general of Renfé points out, “it’s not just speed, not just the chronometer factor, but also the fact that it allows you to make so much better use of your time…we offer the people the chance to get going with their working day in an office space that is enticingly different, placid and agreeable, on an aeroplane it is time lost.” He continues this theme in another interview with The Guardian, “Time spent in a train is time won… In a train you can work, read, talk, use the internet, eat or simply relax and enjoy the journey. With a plane, the only objective is to arrive.” Guillaume Pepy is also quoted as saying something similar, “I like to think in terms of people gaining time on trains rather than spending it.”
And with this time that the commuting British public has "gained" they’ve added ₤9bn to their economy and I’m sure Messieurs Carillio and Pepy feel that rail was the primary reason.