Sometimes, travelling by train is better than flying. When it comes to hopping between cities in Western Europe, there are times when the train beats out tempting offers from cheap airlines.
Independent Traveller ran the cost of two discount European airlines (Ryanair and easyJet) against Rail Europe and found that the train was the better deal when travelling between cities that are close together. For example, if you wanted to go to Rome, then Florence, then Venice and back to Rome.
You have to look beyond the cost of the ticket, since cheap airlines often charge extra fees for bags, amenities on the plane and checking in at the airport. You also might have to fly in or out of airports that aren't close to where you're staying, which means more money spent on ground transportation. If you take these factors into account, you may find the apparent savings on the ticket price with a discount airline isn't worth the hidden costs and spent time that go along with it.
Europe -- By Plane or By Train? [Independent Traveller]