Rail Europe to Launch Faster Service This Summer

On June 10, Eurostar will launch TGV East, a new Rail Europe line said to cut travel time nearly in half between Paris and other points throughout France, as well as expedite service to Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Rail Europe spokesperson Chris Lazarus says agents can expect further service information in the coming months. New TGV trains will drastically cut travel times as of June 10

Timetables and reservations for the TGV trains, which can travel as fast as 200 miles per hour, will be available beginning April 10 on Rail Europe's agent-focused web site, agent.raileurope.com. Women's fashion designer Christian LaCroix designed the interior of the trains, which will speed eastward connections from Paris to the regions of Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine and Alsace, as well as direct service between those regions and Ile-de-France and northern, western and southwestern France. The high-speed service also can provide significantly faster travel to Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Additionally, the frequency of trains in those regions will increase 15 percent to 20 percent, the company says.

New tracks have been completed for about a year and currently are being tested. As recently as February 24, a high-speed, nine-car train traveling between London and Glasgow derailed, killing one and injuring about 22 of 100 passengers. Lazarus notes however, that the French rails have "a great safety record," with no fatalities since its inception 25 years ago. Lazarus attributes the safety differences of French versus British rail to the privatization of England's system, which has little or no government involvement.