Take a look inside France’s newest high-speed train

Forty new high-speed trains are soon to hit the tracks in France, and they look pretty impressive indeed.

Take a look inside France's newest high-speed train
The bar carriage of the new high-speed trains. Photo: SNCF
The new “Océane” TGV trains have been revealed by rail operator SNCF, built with thanks to a €1.2 billion project from Alstom. 
The trains, which can run at up to 320 kilometres per hour, will be used on the Tours to Bordeaux line. 
They can seat 556 passengers (22 percent more accommodating than the current TGVs) and have been built with great passenger comfort and more space, SNCF heads said at the launch at the Gare de Montparnasse in Paris. 
First class, which has room for 158 passengers, will feature seats that can be spun around to face the direction of travel if a passenger requests. 
These passengers will also get individual charging points and USB ports. 

All passengers will be able to benefit from Wi-Fi throughout the train, as well as real-time information about the journey. 
There will also be extra storage space, more wheelchair spots, and “benches” that are available for group travel, not to mention an upgraded and spacious bar carriage.  
The maiden voyage will be December 11th when a train will run between Paris and Toulouse in the south. 
A full 17 of the new trains will be in operation by the time the new line to Bordeaux opens in July next year, with the rest of the trains due to hit the tracks by late 2019. 
The high-speed trains are going to shave 70 minutes off the trip between Paris and Bordeaux, with SNCF predicting that that the faster trains will attract 2.3 million extra passengers a year.
A one-way trip will be possible in 124 minutes, down from 194 at present, great news for any Parisians thinking about upping sticks, moving to Bordeaux, and making the commute. 


French trains ditch plastic water bottles

French national train operator SNCF has announced it will no longer sell water in plastic bottles on its services, saying the move would reduce the waste from roughly two million drinks.

French train bars will no longer be able to see plastic bottles of water.
French train bars will no longer be able to see plastic bottles of water. Photo: BERTRAND LANGLOIS / AFP.

The plastic packaging will be replaced with recyclable cardboard for still water and aluminium for sparkling.

“Plastic is no longer fantastic,” head of consumer travel operations at the SNCF, Alain Krakovitch, wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

France has gradually increased restrictions on single-use packaging to help reduce waste amid growing evidence about the impact of plastic on sea life in particular.

The government announced on Monday that plastic packaging will be banned for nearly all fruit and vegetables from January next year.

The environment ministry said that 37 percent of fruit and vegetables were sold with plastic packaging, and only the most fragile produce such as strawberries will be given an exemption on the ban until 2026.

“We use an outrageous amount of single-use plastic in our daily lives,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that it was working to cut back “the use of throwaway plastic and boost its substitution by other materials or reusable and recyclable packaging.”

Last year, France passed a wide-ranging “circular economy” law to combat waste that forbids retailers from destroying unsold clothes and will ban all single-use plastic containers by 2040.

Paris city authorities announced this week that they were aiming to eliminate all plastic from state day-care centres, canteens and retirement homes by 2026.