Information published on 3 May 2016 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 496.

France: New TGV Atlantique to begin in 2017

Timetables released for Brittany high speed line

  • High-Speed

New TGV Atlantique unveiled
New TGV services to south-west France are to begin on 2 July 2017.
The new TGV Atlantique 2017 will change the lives of all who use it, allowing them to travel faster, better, and more often.

With 446 days to go before the official launch, details of the new services have been released. Some 2,500 daily timings are affected - over a third of all trains timetabled across France. The service levels have been agreed following extensive consultation with local politicians, passenger associations and socio-economic stakeholders.

TGV Atlantique 2017: Good news all round
SNCF hopes that the new TGV will be a success across all sections of society and boost mobility for all the region’s inhabitants, offering 2.3 million additional passenger journeys per year on routes to the south-west from 2019. The people of Bordeaux are in no doubt: 89 % say that the TGV is “good news” for them. And the “TGV effect” will boost regional attractiveness, with 87% of Bordeaux residents believing that the new TGV will “foster dynamism in their region”.

The new TGV Atlantique 2017: High-quality travel
Travel Faster

The major benefit of high line speeds will be to reduce journey times to south-west France, with Bordeaux now only 2 hours 4 minutes from Paris. The time saving will be also felt by the other 27 towns and cities along the route thanks to better connectivity with TER services.

The goal is to share the benefits of high speed rail as widely as possible: faster trains serving towns & cities en route, and in some cases offering the possibility of commuting daily. The biggest time savings will be:

  • Paris-Bordeaux: 2 hrs 4 minutes, down from 3 hrs 14 mins
  • Paris-Toulouse: 4 hrs 9 minutes, down from 5 hrs 25 mins

Travel better
As of 2017, the region of Aquitaine Limousin Poitou-Charentes will benefit from the phased arrival of 40 new double-deck TGV Duplex Atlantique trainsets (to be delivered between 2016 and 2019), representing an investment of 1 billion euros, as well as 24 overhauled Duplex trainsets. These trains have redesigned interiors and meet high comfort standards: new, more ergonomic seating in both first and second class allowing passengers to work or relax, as well as high-speed Wi-Fi.

Travel more often
94% of Bordeaux residents agree that the new TGV will “offer easier access to Paris, whether for day trips or weekend breaks”. The new TGV services will maximise the number of potential travellers and will be tailored to their needs, spreading the benefits of high speed rail across as many towns & cities as possible.

More capacity, more trains: more than 2.3 million additional passenger journeys are expected on south-western routes by 2019
Maximum (trainset) capacity at peak hours
Same-day (even same-morning/afternoon) return journeys possible
Arrive earlier in the morning, return later in the evening.

Brittany high speed line: timetables released
New services and time savings

With the launch of the new Bretagne - Pays de la Loire high speed line in 2017, SNCF promises travellers to and from Brittany time savings as of July 2017. Seven years in the making, the project will offer inhabitants of Brittany time savings of over 40 minutes. Quimper, Lorient, Lamballe, St-Brieuc, Guingamp: all the cities west of Rennes will benefit from shorter journey times. Paris-St Malo will only be 2 hrs 14 mins (down from 2 hrs 56 mins), whereas Paris-Brest will be 3 hrs 25 mins (currently 4 hrs 21 mins).

Frequencies will also be increased to and from a number of other Breton cities. For example, Rennes will be served by an extra daily TGV to and from Paris compared to today. The first train of the day will allow the people of Rennes to reach Paris around 7.45 am, with the last train home departing from Paris around 9.30 pm.

Construction began in 2011 for a cost of 3.5 billion euros, and has involved laying 182 km of new line. The TGVs will have a maximum speed in service of 320 km/h, whilst high speed TER (regional trains) will run at up to 200 km/h. Beyond higher speeds and easier access to Brittany and the Pays de la Loire region, the project will also impact on regional and inter-regional TER services. The number of TER services will further increase with the building of the Sablé-sur-Sarthe chord, which will connect the Bretagne - Pays de la Loire high speed line and the Sablé-sur-Sarthe line. The chord will enable direct connections between Rennes and the cities of Nantes, Angers, and Laval.

(Source: SNCF)