Introduced in 1981, France's TGV (Train à Grande
Vitesse) was the original European high-speed train. Linking Paris
with Lyon, the new service revolutionised train travel and meant
that travelling by air over medium and short distances was no
longer seen as the best option, even for business travel.
The network has expanded rapidly and today these sleek, stylish
trains offer links to over 60 destinations throughout France.
Operated by SNCF, the French national rail operator, TGV
trains travel over specially-constructed high speed lines. The
trains can achieve speeds of up to 186mph (300km/h) on most long
distance routes and 200mph (320km/h) on the new TGV Est
line, which links Paris with Strasbourg, Luxembourg and Basel. With
the exception of shorter journeys, TGVs almost always have
an on-board buffet car, serving a selection of drinks and light