The East Europe High-Speed Train Line: the First Section Has Opened
Five years of construction, 60 million cubic metres of land dug up and moved, 12 million tonnes of material transported and over 3 billion euros invested by 22 partners - the new LGV has blasted past all the previous records!
"It is time that France’s eastern region no longer be the tip of a railway peninsula, but rather a strategic point, connecting us to Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland, our neighbours”, stated Dominique Perben on 15 March, as he inaugurated the first section of the East Europe High-Speed Train Line. Starting from 10 June 2007, when the line is opened to the public, one hundred high-speed trains will run each day at 320 km/h, carrying an expected 11 million travellers each year. The Paris-Strasbourg ride will last two hours and twenty minutes, as compared to four hours currently. Once construction is complete in 2010, Strasbourg will be within 1 hour and fifty minutes of the capital city. In over 20 stations with high-speed train service, the platforms have been revamped for easier use by the disabled. Three new stations, to be built in Champagne-Ardenne, Meuse and Lorraine, will furthermore enable connections between provinces.
A bridge to EuropeIn the Minister of Transport’s view, “the completion of this line is a wonderful bridge to the heart of Europe”. The first 300 kilometres of railway will make up the French link in the future “Magistral Railway for Europe”, a 1 500-kilometer line that will cut through Europe, connecting Paris to Bratislava (Slovakia), via Strasbourg, Stuttgart, Munich and Vienna.