Getting to NixCon 2019 - Brno

After a discussion on Twitter, it motivated me to see how to get to NixCon by train. Getting there by train and plane is much harder than I anticipated, so here is all the info that I found out so far.

Feel free to reply or edit the page with any info that you might have.

Ecology info

Cut your CO2 emissions by taking the train, by up to 90%… - probably not super objective since the author is obsessed by trains.

on a measure of CO2 emitted each kilometre travelled by a passenger, air travel ranks top at 285 grams per passenger kilometre. Road transportation follows at 158 and rail travel at 14 grams per passenger kilometre, according to figures published by the European Environment Agency.

source: https://www.france24.com/en/20190410-aviation-faces-challenge-reduce-pollution

If I remember correctly, short flights are more expensive in terms of CO2 per kilometer because much of the emission is done during take-off and landing.

Calculators

https://travelnav.com/ allows you to calculate the CO2 emission of your flight.

https://www.nextgreencar.com/tools/emissions-calculator/ allows you to calculate the CO2 emission of your car (after converting the kilometers to miles).

Trains are more complicated because it depends on the source of energy.

Train

Finding a travel route

Google Maps is not able to plan very long train routes.

If you search for Brno and get a drop-down menu, “Brno hl. n.” is the correct destination.

Full map of trains in europe:

For Swiss travelers, the SBB.ch website is able to find a route.

For French travelers, SNCF.com is useless and tells you to take the car.

For German travelers, Bahn.de works fine.

For the UK, seat61 is a guy obsessed by trains.

Price

So far the best price for trains I found is:

Interrail Global Pass - 3 Days within 1 Month. € 218 x 1

Plane

Closest airport

Brno has an airport but it might not be well connected to all the destination.

  • VIE (Vienna Airport) -> Brno: 2 transfers, 2 h 46 min, price ?
  • PRG (Prague Airport) -> Brno: 1 transfers, 3 h 37 min, price ?
  • BTS - Bratislava, small airport loved by budged airlies (RyanAir, WizzAir). Trains to Czechia are ~twice cheaper than from Vienna, although the distance is the same
  • PED - Pardubice, between Prague and Brno, even smaller one, probably the best from Russia (very cheap flights from St.Petersburg), also some RyanAir
  • did I miss any others?

So far, VIE is the closest one and also the better connected.

Plane vs Train (from Geneva to Brno)

data source for plane: https://www.skyscanner.fr/

  • Train: 3 transfers, ~14 h, price: 218 €
  • GVA -> PRG: 2 transfers, ~15 h + time to go into the city + 1h boarding + train to city => ~17h, price: ~250 € + train price(?)
  • GVA -> VIE: 3 transfers, 1h40 +1h boarding (flight) + 2 h 46 min (train) => ~6h. price: 100 € (flight) + train price(?). 235 lbs CO2, 107 kg CO2e
  • Driving: 0 transfers, 11 h 8 min (1,160 km), price: ??, CO2: 231.5 (varies on the type of car)

TODO

  • Look into night trains. 15h is not such a big deal if you spend 8h of them sleeping,
  • What is the CO2 emission of train travel?
  • How to put the CO2 emissions into perspective?
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There are flights (Ryanair) from London Stansted to Brno-Tuřany, and from the research I did, they are the only flights from outside the Czech Republic into BRQ.

For overseas travelers, it definitely looks like the best route is through VIE, then via rail. It’s unlikely routing through London is a good idea since flights are likely to go through Heathrow, thus an airport change is required.


Note about Brno Dolní Nádraží. I have not seen many English-language resources about the situation of the train stations in Brno. If one tries to go to Brno hlavní nádraží, the main railway station, they will find out they are redirected to Brno Dolní Nádraží instead. A cursory look on street view and maps applications will show a desolate, almost abandoned station, without any kind of facilities.

Fear not, this indeed was not a passenger station until recently. The One Man Brno Blog has a section about the station. It is being used while the main station is being renovated. The lower station (Dolní nádraží) has had work done to make it suitable for travel.

EDIT: And then there’s this page I just found about on RegioJet’s website. It’s more geared towards their bus services, but is still useful I believe.

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I’ve asked some friends from RedHat and they recommend commuting by bus. The price of the return ticket is 34€ and it takes 2h 40m to go from Vienna Airport to Brno with a direct bus.

Tickets can be booked in https://www.studentagency.eu/en/ with regular services every 4h

Example timetable:

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Thanks for putting this together @zimbatm. I’m really happy to see so
much information about how to travel by train and the comparative
impact on the environment. I’ll be coming from train from Edinburgh!

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Rome2Rio can plan train trips from anywhere to anywhere. It’s a multimodal trip planner, so you’ll also get routes that include eg. planes, but usually there’s at least one all-train route in the results.

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I’ve searched őbb (Austrian trains company) and it has some solutions from my place (Rovereto) to Brno in the 24th of October starting at 59 € for the trip from Innsbruck to Brno. To that I’ll have to add the cost of the trip from Rovereto to Innsbruck using Italian trains. Its a ten hours and an half trip. Not bad… I think that a flight would take more or less the same time, all considered…

Anyone knows of a good accomodation nearby the conference?

We should probably start a new thread for the accommodations

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BTS - Bratislava, small airport loved by budged airlies (RyanAir, WizzAir). Trains to Czechia are ~twice cheaper than from Vienna, although the distance is the same
PED - Pardubice, between Prague and Brno, even smaller one, probably the best from Russia (very cheap flights from St.Petersburg), also some RyanAir

I’m going to try Flixbus Vienna->Brno - only 5Є.