France Starts High-speed Europe Rail Link
The first high-speed rail link between France and Germany has begun scheduled services, slashing travel times across Europe.
The TGV Est runs for 300km between Paris and Strasbourg, cutting the journey time from four hours to two hours and 20 minutes between the two cities. The line also offers fast connections to Luxembourg, Switzerland and Germany.
Using up to 78,000 tonnes of steel, the $5.3bn line took five years to build and created about 10,000 jobs.
The French rail operator SNCF says it hopes it will carry more than 11 million passengers annually by 2010.
The TGV – which turned 25 last year – is one of the world’s fastest rail services, along with Japan’s Shinkansen bullet train and Germany’s ICE.