New high speed LGV trains rolling full steam ahead

The new high speed train will connect Paris to Rennes in 1h30 and to Bordeaux in 2h

President Macron is hopping on the Paris-Rennes train to inaugurate the service

Two new LGV (Lignes à grande vitesse) trains will roll into their respective stations in Rennes and Bordeaux today, with some important people aboard.

President Macron is on the first train west, while the president of the SNCF Guillaume Pepy, environment minister Nicolas Hulot, and transport minister Elisabeth Borne are aboard the Paris-Bordeaux train, which left Paris Montparnasse at 8:41am. The trains will be running a commercial service from Sunday.

Construction of the new LGV lines began in 2012 and the development will put Rennes an hour and a half from Paris, while the 370 mile distance from Paris to Bordeaux will be covered in just two hours.

To highlight the event, the Musée de Bretagne in Rennes is offering a special exposition charting the history of railways in Brittany from the arrival of the first train in Nantes station in 1851, to the arrival of the TGV in Rennes in 1989. In anticipation, a new footbridge extending across the railway tracks in the station will be inaugurated.

In 1981 the TGV reached the record speed of 380 km/hour in optimal safety conditions. In the same year the Paris-Lyon line was commissioned. 

The Paris-Rennes line is an extension of a track which already runs to Le Mans. It is believed the extension of the line as far as Rennes will benefit smaller towns on the Brittany coast.

A future LGV line is planned to extend to the far south of France, connecting Paris with Montpellier is just over three hours.

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