Information published on 23 July 2013 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 357.

France / Switzerland: TGV Rhine-Rhône – new TGV Paris-Freiburg high speed link

  • News from UIC members

From 26 August 2013, SNCF will operate a new international service linking Paris to Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany).

The new Paris-Freiburg route will mark the expansion of the TGV Rhine-Rhône service to European destinations.

The present Paris-Mulhouse daily return journey will thus be extended to Freiburg im Breisgau from 26 August 2013. This new route has been open to reservations since 16 July and complements the connecting TGV/TER service which has operated since the reopening of the Mulhouse-Mulheim line in December 2012.

One direct TGV return journey will run six out of seven days a week between Paris and Freiburg im Breisgau, serving Dijon, Besançon-Franche-Comté TGV, Belfort-Montbéliard TGV, and Mulhouse.

When launched, this new route will run using the latest model of TGV, the “TGV 2N2 Euroduplex”, which is approved for operation on a large part of the European high speed network (triple power supply, ERTMS cab signalling).

Able to carry up to 509 passengers, these trains offer the latest technological innovations in terms of customer service, notably:

  • Onboard Passenger Information System (OPIS): this scalable, customisable system is compliant with European standards and uses GPS technology to provide passengers with visual and audio information using pre-recorded messages in several languages.
  • Power outlet by every seat in first class, and one for every two seats in second class.
  • PRM space: access for two wheelchairs per trainset, this dedicated space provides power outlets, reading lights, folding tables, adjustable seating, buzzers to call the train manager, storage space for foldable wheelchairs and easy access to PRM toilet facilities.

TGV Rhine-Rhône, two high speed routes connecting France with the rest of Europe

Since 11 December 2011, the TGV Rhine-Rhône line has offered an improved service between Paris, Eastern France, Switzerland and Germany:

  • East-West line from Paris – French regions/Switzerland, improving services to Burgundy, Franche-Comté, South Alsace and German-speaking Switzerland (with TGV Lyria), offering more frequent services and significantly reducing journey times (Paris-Besançon in 1 hour 59 minutes, Paris-Mulhouse in 2 hours 40 minutes and Paris-Zurich in 4 hours 3 minutes).
  • North-South route connecting the French regions to one another and to Germany, offering daily direct TGV services from Germany, Strasbourg and Mulhouse to Lyon and the Mediterranean.

In December 2012, the service was further improved, with the Strasbourg - Marseille TGV now running “semi-fast” (almost non-stop) between Strasbourg and Lyon, cutting journey times by 30 minutes between Strasbourg and Marseille. And since 8 July 2013, Basel has also had a direct TGV link to Lyon and the Mediterranean thanks to the extension of the TGV service to Mulhouse, the terminus.

Future developments for the TGV Rhine-Rhône

As of 15 December 2013 (2014 timetable), SNCF will further expand the TGV Rhine-Rhône service:

  • Launch of a second semi-fast return service from Lyon-Strasbourg, bringing the number of return journeys between Lyon and Strasbourg to seven
  • Extension of the 7th return service from Lyon-Strasbourg to the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region (PACA), bringing the number of return journeys between Strasbourg and Marseille to four

(Source: SNCF)