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While airlines and automakers struggle to minimize their losses as fuel prices keep climbing, at least one transportation company is thriving. French rail operator, SNCF, scored a profit of over $1.7 billion in 2007 and expects to do even better this year. SNCF operates the TGV trains that routinely travel at speeds up to 200 mph in commercial service. Unlike here in the US, rail companies in Europe and Asia have actually invested in the infrastructure and equipment to make train travel fast and

SNCF, the public French railways company, has - no surprise - a website dedicated to travel. The interesting feature on this website is that it calculates how much CO2 your trip produces depending on the transport method you choose, giving you the choice between plane (including low-cost companies), train and private car.

I must admit I'm a great fan of high-speed trains: they're very comfortable, they're fast and they take and leave you in the center of the city of your choice (usually). Japanese bullet trains and European TGVs, ICEs and AVEs have returned dignity back to railway transport. But not everybody is happy about them.