Published by Lyn on 29 May 2017
Two new high-speed railway lines open in July, linking Paris to Bordeaux, and Paris to Rennes. Here's what you need to know about them.
France will get just a little bit smaller on July 2 when two new high-speed railway lines come into service. Both lines link key cycling hotspots, cutting journey times. They also take bicycles fully assembled.
Here's what you need to know.
Where does the TGV Océane go?
TGV Océane is the new high-speed railway line between Paris and Bordeaux, linking the two cities in just 2 hours and 4 minutes (cutting journey times by up to 1 hour and 15 minutes). There will be more than 33 return journeys a day over the 581km railway line.
Trains will also either stop at Poitiers and Angoûleme, and link to services for La Rochelle. From Bordeaux trains go on to Toulouse but only use the new high speed line as far as Bordeaux (you don't change trains, though – the train changes lines but you won't even notice). Lots of routes in France use a combination of high speed and classic lines and the transition is seamless.
Where does the TGV Armorique go?
TGV Armorique links Paris to Rennes in 1 hour 25 minutes, a saving of 40 minutes on the current journey times. There will be more than 29 return journeys a day.
TGV Armorique will also serve Brest and Quimper.
When do the new trains start running?
Both services start on July 2, 2017.
When can I buy tickets?
For Voyages-SNCF you start filling in the destination boxes. You then hit the hit '+ de criteres' link in the bottom right of the box. That will take you through to a new screen with a velo option.
If you are in the UK, you can buy train tickets via the UK Voyages SNCF website, but you'll need to phone up for bike reservations. (Hence why it's easier to just use the French Voyages-SNCF sire or Trainline).
Do the new trains take fully assembled bicycles?
There is one coach with four bike spaces on each train. As with TGV services that currently take bikes, you need to reserve a space for your bike when you buy your ticket. See booking links above.
What else do I need to know?
Both lines use new TGV trains that travel at speeds of up to 320km/hr. New on board features include increased leg room, seating that can swivel to face the direction of travel, on board wifi. There are also larger tables with plug sockets and USB ports, and moveable personal lights.
Each train seats 556 passengers (158 in first class and 398 in second class). There are two power cars per train, five second-class cars, two first-class cars and a bar car.