South West France Trains
The South west region of France enjoys some excellent rail links. With the new high-speed track from Paris to Bordeaux almost complete the train trip upon the TGV takes less then 3 hours. The Eurostar service from London to Paris now takes less than 3 hours so it is possible, even with changing stations at Paris, to arrive in Angouleme in under 6 hours.
The French rail system SNCF is one of the most reliable in Europe. Millions of British tourist head for the south or south west of France every year and a majority still prefer to travel by road which when you add up all the costs of motorway fees, overnight stays, channel crossing and fuel there can be no saving when compared to the ease of train travel and a hire car awaiting your arrival. If you prefer to avoid the change of stations at Paris it is possible to take the Eurostar to Lille and at Lille International train terminal you simply change platforms for the TGV to Bordeaux or Angouleme.
TGV High speed train
SNCF’s TGV has set many worlds speed records, the most recent on April 3, 2007, when a new version of the TGV, dubbed the V150, was able to cover more ground with each rotation of its larger wheels and a stronger, 25,000 horsepower (18600 kW) engine, broke the world speed record for conventional rail trains, reaching 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph). The Rail system in France is second to none. Apart from strikes or disputes the train are always on time and the connections between stations is excellent rail network consists of about 32,000 km of route, of which 1,800 km is high-speed line and 14,500 km is electrified. About 14,000 trains are operated daily.
|Visit France by train if you…|
…love food and wine. France is Europe’s gourmet destination, with its world-renowned vintages and well-deserved gastronomic reputation. Whether you’re visiting the vineyards of Bordeaux, exploring historic cities like Avignon or Reims, or enjoying the elegant beaches of south west France and boutiques of the Cote d’Azur, everywhere in France has a flavour all its own.