Paris-Strasbourg in 2 hours and 20 minutes instead of 4 hours. That is now possible with the opening of the new high-speed TGV train line between the two cities – when it is entirely finished in 2015, journey time will be cut even further.
The link is the French part of a wider plan to improve transport connections between western and eastern Europe.
It will reduce travel time from Paris to major European cities – like Frankfurt in just over four hours. The aim is to eventually carry passengers directly and quickly between the French capital and eastern European cities such as Budapest and Bratislava.
The French rail company SNCF hopes to increase passenger travel eastwards by 65 percent in the next three years – half the new passengers are expected to be former air travellers.