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Frances New High Speed Rail Line TGV

White Plains, NY, June 10, 2007 -- Build a high-speed rail line and they will come - this has proven true time and again in Europe since the first high-speed line (Paris-Lyon) was launched.

History is repeating itself with the new TGV* East line, which opened today, slashing previous train travel times by one-third to one-half between Paris and eastern France (Reims, Metz, Nancy, Colmar, Strasbourg, etc), Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

Since Rail Europe announced the availability of TGV East tickets (on April 10, 60 days before service started), the number of North American passengers buying tickets for these routes has increased an average of 65% over the same period last year (when journey times were longer). Some routes have seen ticket sales increase as much as 400% (Nancy-Strasbourg) or 368% (Paris-Stuttgart). On other routes, ticket sales are nearly double what they were during April-June 2006: Mulhouse-Paris (94%), Metz-Paris (92%), Paris-Strasbourg (84%).

Besides cutting travel times nearly in half, the launch of TGV East has also increased the frequency along routes to and within eastern France 15-20%, plus now there are many direct trains, where previously passengers had to transfer at intermediate stations.

High-speed rail has traditionally captured the major share of combined air/rail traffic along routes where train journeys are under 3 hours. The new TGV line is expected to garner 75% of the Paris-Strasbourg market within one year and eventually 90%. Air France previously announced plans to discontinue flights Paris-Metz in July.

Faster travel times

Between with TGV East Current time Paris-Reims 45 min. 1 hr. 35 min. Paris-Nancy 1 hr 30 min. 2 hr. 40 min. Paris-Strasbourg 2 hr. 20 min. 4 hr. Paris-Luxembourg 2 hr. 5 min. 3 hr. 35 min. Paris-Zurich 4 hr. 32 min. 5 hr. 50 min. Paris-Frankfurt 3 hr 50 min. 6 hr. 15 min. Paris-Stuttgart 3 hr 40 min. 6 hr.

Ticket prices**

The following prices are for one-way, full-fare (fully exchangeable/refundable) tickets. Special offers will appear at (U.S) or  (Canada). Paris-Reims: $43 US/$51 CAD (2 nd cl.) or $75 US/$88 CAD (1 st) Paris-Nancy: $76 US/$ 89 CAD (2 nd) or $135 US/$ 158 CAD (1 st) Paris-Strasbourg: $ $96 US/$113 CAD (2 nd) or $170 US/$199 CAD (1 st) Paris-Basel: $128 US / $150 CAD (2 nd) or $193US / $226 CAD (1 ST) Paris-Stuttgart: $144 US/$169 CAD (2 nd) or $250 US/ $293 CAD (1st)

A France Rail Pass - which covers 3 days of unlimited rail travel throughout France within a one-month period - starts at $227 US/$ 266 CAD. (Seat reservations, which are required on all TGVs, must be purchased separately) . Holders of France Rail Pass receive special low Passholder fares on international routes (France-Germany, France-Switzerland or on Eurostar or Thalys high-speed trains) that can save 70-80% over regular fares. In addition, the pass provides discounts on Bateaux Parisiens cruises, city passes for Nancy and Strasbourg, museums, scenic rail journeys in other parts of France and more.

For more information or to book rail passes or tickets for individual or group travel on TGV East or high-speed, scenic, and overnight trains throughout Europe and the UK, consult a travel agent or log on to (U.S.) or (Canada) or call Rail Europe at 1-888-382-7245 (U.S.) or 1-800-361-7245 (Canada).

Notes:

*TGV= Train a Grande Vitesse (French high-speed train)

**Prices subject to change. For the latest prices, log on to (U.S.) or (Canada)

Photos: members of the press may download high-res photos of Eurostar and other European trains at

European Trains