New TGV Mediterranee Rail Service in South of France Offers Shorter Travel Times, Improved Comfort, Increased Frequency at No Additional Cost

Apr 11, 2001, 01:00 ET from Rail Europe

    WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- When service dramatically
 improves, customers usually expect to pay more.  Not so with France's newest
 high-speed train, the TGV Mediterranee (TGV Med) from Paris to the south of
 France.  Travel times will shrink, frequency will increase, and passengers
 will enjoy new and renovated stations and train equipment, but there will be
 no additional cost for North Americans riding the new train with railpasses or
 tickets from Rail Europe, leading supplier of European rail products and
 subsidiary of the French National Railroads (SNCF).  The new service will
 begin operation June 10, and bookings may be made now.
 
     Shorter travel times
     TGV Med will cut travel time along the most popular route for North
 American travelers, Paris-Avignon, from 3 hrs 30 min to 2 hrs 38 min, and
 between Paris and Marseille on the shores of the Mediterranean, from
 4 hrs 20 min to 3 hrs.  TGV Med will run directly to and from the TGV station
 at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport, as well as to and from Lyon's
 Saint-Exupery airport.  In all, travel to 140 cities will take one hour or
 less after TGV Med starts operating.  SNCF, well known for its on-time
 performance, has also committed to running 90% of all TGV Med trains within
 10 minutes of scheduled times.
 
     Greater frequency, longer hours of operation
     The frequency of rail service to and within the south of France will
 improve from 20-200% depending on the route.  For example, 17 trains will run
 in either direction between Paris and Marseille, rather than the current 11.
 Between Paris and Nice, the current 3 daily trains will expand to 6.
     For the first time, travelers going between Paris and Aix-en-Provence will
 not have to change trains in Marseille, and the current 5 hour trip will be
 cut to 2 hrs 55 min.  The new line will cut international times, such as
 Geneva-Nice (from 7.5 hrs to 6) and Brussels-Marseille (from 6 hrs 55 min
 to 5 hrs 20 min).
     In addition, the hours of service will be extended, with trains running
 earlier in the mornings and later in the evenings.  Schedules of the new TGV
 Med are available on the Rail Europe Web site, www.raileurope.com and by
 calling 1-877-2TGVMED.  [Note: A sample of the differences between frequencies
 and travel times pre- and post-June 10 is given on page 2.]
 
     More and improved equipment
     All 168 trainsets operating on TGV Med will be either new or recently
 renovated and will be capable of commercial operating speeds of 186 mph.
 Within the next three years, the number of double-decker trains running on the
 TGV Med route will more than double to accommodate the 6 million new
 passengers TGV Med is expected to attract by then: 12 trainsets will be added
 in 2002 and another 22 by 2004.
      New services being offered on many of the TGV Med trains include:
 bringing bicycles onboard; reserving taxis onboard the trains for certain
 routes; plugs for laptop computers in first class; information center where
 passengers can speak with the conductors; private areas for wireless phone
 use.  Different types of trainsets operate on different routes.
 
     Costs
     Travel on TGV Med is covered by a France Railpass, starting at $146 US
 ($234 CAN) for three days of unlimited train travel in 2nd class based on 2 or
 more traveling together ($171 US/$274 CAN in 1st class).  Sample
 point-to-point ticket prices, illustrating the value of a railpass, are:
 $82US/$132 CAN in 2nd class or $106 US/$175 CAN  1st class between Paris and
 Avignon; $ 84 US/$135 CAN in 2nd class or $110 US/ $176 CAN in 1st class for
 Paris-Marseille.  (These Canadian prices are in effect as of May 1.)  As with
 all TGV trains, reservations are mandatory on TGV Med trains.
     To book or for more information, call your travel agent or Rail Europe at
 877-2TGVMED (877-284-8633).  Or consult the company's Web site at
 http://www.raileurope.com.
 
     Photos:
     A selection of photos of the new line are available for journalists to
 download from the Rail Europe Web site at http://www.raileurope.com/presspix.
 
                   Comparison of Travel Times and Frequencies
                   before and after TGV Med begins (June 10)
             on selected routes (many more are affected by TGV Med)
 
                             Average Travel Times           Daily Departures
                            Before          After          Before       After
 
     Paris (Gare de Lyon) to:
 
     Aix-en-Provence      5hr 40min       2hr 59min       0 direct         7
     Avignon              3hr 30min      2hr 38 min          10           17
     Marseille            4hr 20min             3hr          11           17
     Montpellier          4hr 20min       3hr 15min           8           11
     Nice                 6hr 37min       5hr 36min           2            6
 
     Paris CDG Airport to:
 
     Avignon                3h50min             3hr           4            7
     Marseille              4h50min       3hr 40min           5            8
 
 

SOURCE Rail Europe
    WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- When service dramatically
 improves, customers usually expect to pay more.  Not so with France's newest
 high-speed train, the TGV Mediterranee (TGV Med) from Paris to the south of
 France.  Travel times will shrink, frequency will increase, and passengers
 will enjoy new and renovated stations and train equipment, but there will be
 no additional cost for North Americans riding the new train with railpasses or
 tickets from Rail Europe, leading supplier of European rail products and
 subsidiary of the French National Railroads (SNCF).  The new service will
 begin operation June 10, and bookings may be made now.
 
     Shorter travel times
     TGV Med will cut travel time along the most popular route for North
 American travelers, Paris-Avignon, from 3 hrs 30 min to 2 hrs 38 min, and
 between Paris and Marseille on the shores of the Mediterranean, from
 4 hrs 20 min to 3 hrs.  TGV Med will run directly to and from the TGV station
 at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport, as well as to and from Lyon's
 Saint-Exupery airport.  In all, travel to 140 cities will take one hour or
 less after TGV Med starts operating.  SNCF, well known for its on-time
 performance, has also committed to running 90% of all TGV Med trains within
 10 minutes of scheduled times.
 
     Greater frequency, longer hours of operation
     The frequency of rail service to and within the south of France will
 improve from 20-200% depending on the route.  For example, 17 trains will run
 in either direction between Paris and Marseille, rather than the current 11.
 Between Paris and Nice, the current 3 daily trains will expand to 6.
     For the first time, travelers going between Paris and Aix-en-Provence will
 not have to change trains in Marseille, and the current 5 hour trip will be
 cut to 2 hrs 55 min.  The new line will cut international times, such as
 Geneva-Nice (from 7.5 hrs to 6) and Brussels-Marseille (from 6 hrs 55 min
 to 5 hrs 20 min).
     In addition, the hours of service will be extended, with trains running
 earlier in the mornings and later in the evenings.  Schedules of the new TGV
 Med are available on the Rail Europe Web site, www.raileurope.com and by
 calling 1-877-2TGVMED.  [Note: A sample of the differences between frequencies
 and travel times pre- and post-June 10 is given on page 2.]
 
     More and improved equipment
     All 168 trainsets operating on TGV Med will be either new or recently
 renovated and will be capable of commercial operating speeds of 186 mph.
 Within the next three years, the number of double-decker trains running on the
 TGV Med route will more than double to accommodate the 6 million new
 passengers TGV Med is expected to attract by then: 12 trainsets will be added
 in 2002 and another 22 by 2004.
      New services being offered on many of the TGV Med trains include:
 bringing bicycles onboard; reserving taxis onboard the trains for certain
 routes; plugs for laptop computers in first class; information center where
 passengers can speak with the conductors; private areas for wireless phone
 use.  Different types of trainsets operate on different routes.
 
     Costs
     Travel on TGV Med is covered by a France Railpass, starting at $146 US
 ($234 CAN) for three days of unlimited train travel in 2nd class based on 2 or
 more traveling together ($171 US/$274 CAN in 1st class).  Sample
 point-to-point ticket prices, illustrating the value of a railpass, are:
 $82US/$132 CAN in 2nd class or $106 US/$175 CAN  1st class between Paris and
 Avignon; $ 84 US/$135 CAN in 2nd class or $110 US/ $176 CAN in 1st class for
 Paris-Marseille.  (These Canadian prices are in effect as of May 1.)  As with
 all TGV trains, reservations are mandatory on TGV Med trains.
     To book or for more information, call your travel agent or Rail Europe at
 877-2TGVMED (877-284-8633).  Or consult the company's Web site at
 http://www.raileurope.com.
 
     Photos:
     A selection of photos of the new line are available for journalists to
 download from the Rail Europe Web site at http://www.raileurope.com/presspix.
 
                   Comparison of Travel Times and Frequencies
                   before and after TGV Med begins (June 10)
             on selected routes (many more are affected by TGV Med)
 
                             Average Travel Times           Daily Departures
                            Before          After          Before       After
 
     Paris (Gare de Lyon) to:
 
     Aix-en-Provence      5hr 40min       2hr 59min       0 direct         7
     Avignon              3hr 30min      2hr 38 min          10           17
     Marseille            4hr 20min             3hr          11           17
     Montpellier          4hr 20min       3hr 15min           8           11
     Nice                 6hr 37min       5hr 36min           2            6
 
     Paris CDG Airport to:
 
     Avignon                3h50min             3hr           4            7
     Marseille              4h50min       3hr 40min           5            8
 
 SOURCE  Rail Europe