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 refreshments.