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The TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse, French for "high-speed train"), is a category of high speed trains. They are used in France. They are also used for some travel between France and England, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. The trains normally travel at speeds between 270 km/h and 320 km/h. They are the fastest normal trains in the world, their average travel speed is at 279,4 km/h.
Inside France, there are the following high speed lines
- Paris to Lyon, later to Valence, Avignon and Marseille.
- Paris to Tours and Le Mans. Also used to run trains to Poitiers and Bordeaux.
- Paris to Lille, later Brussels (known as Thalys) and Calais, Dover, London (known as Eurostar).
- Paris to Strasbourg, sometimes to Frankfurt am Main, Basel and Zürich. The first part of this line has been built. The high-speed track ends at a station, about half-way between Nancy and Metz. Strasbourg is currently reachable from Paris is about two and a half hours, Basel takes 3.20, and Zürich about 4.30. The extension of the line to Strasbourg has been started,
The building of the network has made travel times much shorter. Paris to Marseille (750km) can now be done in 3 hours. Two thirds of the traffic volume is done by the TGV, only one third is done by airplanes.
TGVs for other uses
Since the beginning of the high-speed rail network, the French Poste uses TGVs to transport mail, mostly between Paris, Mâcon and Cavaillon. These use the high-speed lines (LGV Sud-Est) during the night.
In the north of France, the high-speed lines are also used to run regional trains over longer distances. There are currently train from Lille to Dunkerque. This takes half an hour. Other lines run to Calais, in forty minutes, or to Boulogne-sur-Mer in 55. In 2007, a line to Arras was opened, which is also very successful. Unfortunately, there are some problems with this approach. First, only high-speed lines can be used that are not saturated, because these trains run slower than regular TGVs. Secondly, using a TGV line costs more to the client, they have to pay extra. This makes these services more expensive.
- "World Speed Survey: New lines boost rail's high speed performance". Railway Gazette International. 2007-09-04. http://www.railwaygazette.com/news_view/article/2007/09/7742/new_lines_boost_rails_high_speed_performance.html. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
- "Aboard the fastest TGV in the world". The Times. 03-04-2007. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/article1608769.ece. Retrieved 05-08-2009.
- Associated Press (2007-04-04). "French train breaks speed record". cnn.com. CNN. Archived from the original on 2007-04-07. https://web.archive.org/web/20070407194558/http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/04/03/TGVspeedrecord.ap/index.html. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
- Fouquet, Helene and Viscousi, Gregory (2007-04-03). French TGV Sets Record, Reaching 357 Miles an Hour (Update2). Bloomberg. https://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601085&sid=aW23Aw20niIo&refer=europe. Retrieved 2007-09-19.