Western European railways are known to be mostly. expensive and mostly, punctual. Or what is assumed, because they are, well, Western. I am not an expert and only give a description of what I personally experienced during my few train journeys. As creative as I had attempted to be, I heartfeltly say that my recent multi-country trip across Western Europe was a big success. With only a one-night bus connection between Spain and Portugal, all my travel was done by trains. I focused on two things; location and frequency. When using high-speed trains the main terminal may be located some two miles away from the city center or the next train in your direction goes in six hours. While it was the case in Asian countries, here in Europe, what affected my journeys were big crowds, and I was prepared for it. Trains, tubes or buses were inevitably packed with other tourists and local commuters. Again, traveling offseason would greatly affect the volume of passengers and tickets prices. The ultimate goal, however, for any sensible traveler, especially solo traveler was TIME. The train must take you to your destination. That is your aim. That is the priority of any kind of public transport, to take you safely and punctually to another destination. When selecting tickets I focused on saving time, not really increasing customer service or comfort. So long as I got my seat and enough room to have a decent meal and a folded table for my travel organiser I am all set.