Introducing the New Rhine-Rhone High-Speed Rail Line

It’s a new version of R&R, taking travelers to new places faster than ever imagined.

Trial run of a TGV on the East segment of the Rhine-Rhone High Speed rail line

Trial run of a TGV on the East segment of the Rhine-Rhone High Speed rail line © Réseau Ferré De France

A new chapter has been written in TGV history. And it’s both lengthy and fast-paced. The LGV Rhine-Rhone high-speed line is the first in France to be built as an interregional route, rather than a link, from the provinces to Paris. The Eastern Branch, running between Dijon and Mulhouse, opened last month on December 11.

The link will allow TGV trains to travel at speeds of up to 300km per hour on the entire route between Paris and Zurich. The journeys will be shortened significantly: up to 30 minutes from Paris to Besançon, Basel and Zurich and a whopping 1 hour and 20 minutes for travel to Belfort. Both Besançon and Belfort have new train stations, serviced exclusively by high-speed lines.

This is the just the first of three new branches.

The TGV branches out: Western & Southern routes

The Savoureuse Viaduct on the Rhine Rhone High Speed rail line

The Savoureuse Viaduct on the Rhine Rhone High Speed rail line © Réseau Ferré De France

The Western branch, which will cross Dijon, joining the LGV Sud-Est near Montbard, will connect a number of French regions (specifically, Burgundy, the Franche-Comté, Alsace and Rhône-Alpes) to other parts of Europe, including Germany, German and French-speaking Switzerland, as well as Spain, Great Britain and Belgium via connecting services.

The Southern branch will run from Dijon to Lyon, as well as help connect to Germany, eastern France, the valleys of the Saône and Rhône, the Mediterranean arc and Nice, with connections to Catalonia. Lyon to Frankfurt will now take just under five hours!

It is estimated that 11 million passengers will benefit from these new TGV Rhine-Rhone services.

Double Decker TGV Trains

Double Decker TGV Train on the Rhine Rhone High Speed Rail Line

Double Decker TGV Train on the Rhine Rhone High Speed Rail Line © Réseau Ferré de France

Travelers can look forward to more than shortened travel times, but exciting new trains as well. The new Euroduplex on the Paris to Basel and Zurich routes feature colorful interiors including screens in each carriage showing up-to-the-minute travel information. This third generation TGV Duplex is the ONLY double-decker, interoperable high-speed train capable of running on European networks while transporting up to 1,020 passengers at speeds up to 320km an hour!

History Repeats Itself

It’s been 30 years since the opening of the first high speed line between Paris and Lyon. With the inauguration of the TGV Rhine-Rhone line, the continent has taken a major step forward in not only reducing travel times between cities far and wide, but proving to the rest of the world how innovation can change how we get from here to there.

More efficient. Less environmental impact. An overall better travel experience. In Europe, the future is now.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 at 6:48 pm and is filed under Gems, High-Speed Rail News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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