The high speed trains operating in France are known as TGV. It is short for the French term for high speed train. It started its service in the year 1981 between Paris and Lyon. Since then it has expanded to connect cities across France and in adjacent countries. It present, it visits 149 different stations at an average speed of 320 km/hr (200 mph). The TGV holds the world record for the fastest wheeled train, and the highest average speed train for a regular passenger service. The TGV is no longer centralised in Paris. It travels from the Northern France to the Southern France. Because of its high speed, it can serve more destinations than any other train service. It covers all the major tourist destinations in France. The south east TGV links Paris to Lyon and the south of France (Avignon, Marseille, Nice). It also connects Geneva, Lausanne and the Swiss Alps. The TGV At antique connects Paris to the West of France, Brittany, the South West and the coast. It carries over 40,000 passengers per day and takes only an hour to reach the Loire Valley from Paris. The northern high speed lines are used to connect Europe to the rest of France.
The TGV operates mainly on two routes. First is from Paris to Milano and the other is from Lyon to Milano. The TGV between Paris and Milano has a bar coach and a trolley service for offering food. The TGV between Lyons and Milano has a dining car for offering meals served at tables. They also offer take away food. On a daily basis the TGV has four return lines between France and Italy. It is a misconception that TGV is meant for business travellers only. TGV gives services to all types of passengers, with the same ticket price as for trains running on the parallel conventional line. For the route from Paris to Milano, Euro-rail pass holders have to pay a reservation fee of 55 Euros for 2nd class and 75 Euros for 1st class. For the route from Lyon to Milano the Euro-pass holders have to pay a reservation fee of 30 Euros for 2nd class and 45 Euros for first class. TGV’s run on single tracks, no other train is allowed to run in parallel. This is because of the turbulence that is caused by TGV at 200 mph. Special measures having been taken to ensure the safety of TGV trains. The tracks are fenced along the entire length to prevent trespassing of animals and people. Level crossing is not permitted along TGV tracks and special sensors have been placed along tracks under bridges, to detect objects that fall on the track. The train drivers are give special training to handle trouble situations, so that they can react quickly in time of need. They have to pass the test and re-appear the same test every month to keep their skills sharp. All this makes TGV a very safe passenger train to travel in, and that too at affordable price.