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I found this historical table of ticket prices per kilometer for the German Federal Railways: www.pro-bahn.de/fakten/fahrpreise.

It even goes so far as to distinguish between "short-haul" and "long-haul" prices. After correcting for inflation and converting between Deutsche Mark and Euro, I get an impressive time series going back all the way to 1950.

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Is there anything similar for other (European) countries that have a high-speed rail network today?

For France, I was able to find a consumer price index "rail transport", but I doubt if this is per kilometers - also, the time series begins in 1990.

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    May be more of a question for opendata.stackexchange.com.
    – deceze
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 7:53
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    I suspect the fare structures are very different. The SNCF used to set fares using a formula based on distance. If I understand correctly, the data you found for Germany corresponds to this approach and covers the “Normalpreis”, not special fares (“Sparpreis”) or regional tickets. But in France, this formula was gradually abandoned in the 1980s and high-speed trains are priced differently (through airline-style “yield management”). I guess you could always try to estimate an average per-passenger-kilometre after the fact (and maybe that's what INSEE is doing?) but the actual fares are messy.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 7:55
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    As "relaxed" said: the exact definition of this data for Germany would be difficult given the bizarre pricing policies of Bahn. I'm looking at a trip next week and the price varies from 10c/km to 40c/km over just 3 days. Price from brother's place to Frankfurt Central is twice as much as the price to Frankfurt Airport. The Airport is further away and you have to to connect through Frankfurt Central (????). Things get even more complicated through cheap "all you can ride" tickets like the "Deutschlandticket". I don't know how to calculate an overage in this mess.
    – Hilmar
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 10:08
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    Relative by destination for the UK: dataportal.orr.gov.uk/statistics/finance/rail-fares/… Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 14:39
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    In terms of lookups for the UK, again by origin & destination (& route & discount), but only as far back as the spring 2022 fares round: brfares.com.
    – Michaelyus
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 15:22

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