• France's news in English

President hops aboard new high-speed train

Matthew Warren · 8 Sep 2011, 09:45

Published: 08 Sep 2011 11:20 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Sep 2011 09:45 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

President Sarkozy will launch a new section of the country's high-speed rail network on Thursday when he takes a trip on the new Rhin-Rhône branch.

The new section of the LGV (ligne à grande vitesse) covers 190 kilometres of track and links the cities of Dijon and Mulhouse, a vital artery in the east of the country that means journey times between some large cities can be dramatically reduced.

The travel time between Dijon and Strasbourg will be slashed from 3 hours 40 minutes to just 2 hours. Passengers travelling from Dijon to Belfort can set their alarms much later with a journey time that will drop from 2 hours 15 minutes to 50 minutes.

The president will take one of the new trains, which can reach speeds of up to 320 kilometres per hour, to Belfort-Montbéliard where he will give a speech on France's ambitions in high-speed rail.

The high-speed rail network in France was developed in the 1970s with the first line, between Paris and Lyon, opened in 1981. It now covers more than 1,500 kilometres and connects over 250 destinations.

The new section of track is part of a bigger project to bring high-speed rail to the area. At a cost of €2.3 billion, construction is being financed by France, Switzerland, the European Union and local authorities in Burgundy, Franche-Comté and Alsace.

BFM TV was reporting on Thursday morning that the presidential train ride was creating headaches for security staff who will need to secure the 140 kilometres along which the president plans to travel. 



Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available