TGV Est Opens

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Jun 11th, 2007, 08:44 AM
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TGV Est Opens

June 10 was the launch of TGV-Est, France's newest high-speed rail line. NPR report said trains go 200 mph - if so would be fastest inservice passenger train in Europe - replacing 195mph on Cologne-Frankfurt Airport line i think.

Anyway i'm waiting for first firsthand report on this super fast super modern line.

Note though TGV trains require reservations i guess the German ICE trains do not - good for folks with passes. This has been a vocal debate between French who insist on reservations and Germans who are adamantly set against requiring reservations. TGVs run the bulk of the service inside France.
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Jun 11th, 2007, 12:23 PM
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I was all set to go to Strasbourg today -- bought my non-refundable round trip ticket Paris-Strasboug on line. Wish I could say I actually participated in the adventure. My knee is killing me, so I had to pass.

Waiting to hear about the trip from anybody who's used the new service.
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Jun 11th, 2007, 12:25 PM
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When we were in Alsace, we noticed posters in various towns promoting different fetes to celebrate the opening of the line.

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Jun 11th, 2007, 04:52 PM
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Thank you for the info!!!! I was not aware of these new routes! Which of the new cities would someone suggest we visit for an overnite trip from Paris? Luxemberg City is only 2 hours from Paris, its like San Dieego to LA ! I have friends that commute to work longer in LA.
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Jun 12th, 2007, 08:54 AM
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Luxembourg City is often overlooked but to me it's one of europe's most gorgeous cities because a deep gorge runs down it. Though there's not too much really exciting here the city's no backwater thanks to the many EU beaurats based here - Court of Justice or some EU thing is ensconced here.

But there are the casements, tunnels hewn out of the gorge cliffs thru the years and the main square is lovingly filled with cropped-off French style trees and outdoor cafes.

A few miles out of town is the Hamm military cemetery with Patton's grave - he i guess was killed in a post war Jeep accident in Luxembourg.

So though Nancy and Strasbourg are both real gems and Reims has a lot to drink up as well don't neglect Luxembourg.
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Jun 12th, 2007, 09:01 AM
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Perhaps there will a video of the inaugural run as there was of the speed record recently on both UTube and DailyMotion.
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Jun 12th, 2007, 09:05 AM
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I'll be taking the TGV-Est on June 21st for Paris-Metz and the opposite direction on June 23rd.
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Jun 12th, 2007, 09:07 AM
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My biggest question about the ICE trains is that smoking is allowed on the German sector but is totally forbidden when the ICE crosses into France. As the train crosses the border, do the conductors go through the smoking cars and enforce the French smoking ban?
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Jun 12th, 2007, 09:18 AM
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The last time I was on an ICE it was divided into smoking and non-smoking sections within Germany
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Jun 12th, 2007, 09:28 AM
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In January i rode several ICEs and do believe that smoking is now banned from these trains - at least i didn't se or smell any (legal) smoking.

But i'm not sure.
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Jun 12th, 2007, 09:33 AM
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In the Paris Sunday paper, they mentioned the fact that smoking is still permitted on the ICE and that this was a bone of contention between the SNCF and the DB.
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Jun 12th, 2007, 10:57 AM
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Jack - just looking at RailEurope's seating chart for ICE T trains like those running the French route and indeed there is it looks like a total of 5 seats, all in first class at the very end of the train, in car numbers 28/38 that are labelled smoking.

there are however two other sections, one in 2nd class and one at the other end of the 1st class car that say Lounge a i suspect perhaps smoking is allowed in these areas but not clear.

So not much smoking and isolated but some.

this is for a 5-set train and of course others can be coupled on to make longer trains each with identical smoking areas.

About the only crack train in Europe that allows smoking or even any kind of train. Weird.

i note that railpass holders must pay 10 euro supplement in 2nd and 15 euros in 1st - i wonder if the new TGVs charge similar over and above the usual 3 euro charge for other TGVs in France.

RailEurope is only charging $17 i believe for first class so would be cheaper than in France (of course fees inflate that)
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Jun 12th, 2007, 11:03 AM
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>In the Paris Sunday paper, they mentioned the fact that smoking is still permitted on the ICE and that this was a bone of contention between the SNCF and the DB.

Don't get your knickers in a twist folks - from September 1 all German long-distance trains are fully smoke-free.
On regional trains smoking has been entirely banned since April 1.
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Jun 12th, 2007, 11:08 AM
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I bought some of the 200,000 tickets that the SNCF sold for any destination in France on the TGV-Est for 15€ for this summer (now sold out). But for people paying full fare, the price is going to considerably higher than on the previous trains. All the more reason to seek out Prem's fares.
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Jun 12th, 2007, 11:14 AM
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When i was in Orleans in January on TV News they said that yes the new TGV line fares would be significantly higher than on the old classic line, which i assume will have few or no trains anymore.

And folks in the area were not happy bout that!
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Jun 12th, 2007, 11:22 AM
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I think that a lot of the complaints are not very honest. They are always comparing full fare to full fare, while the SNCF keeps offering more and more special fares every day.

It should be noted that Air France is not throwing in the towel and is selling thousands of tickets on the Paris-Strasbourg route for 49€, taxes included.
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Jun 12th, 2007, 11:31 AM
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which is too bad environmentally as the train is a lot more green than heavily polluting airlines that easily should be displaced on routes like this in the common interest - but competition can keep prices down.

Airlines supposedly account for an incredible 15% of all global warming greenhouse gases - especially damaging because of the altitude they fly at i guess.
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Jun 12th, 2007, 11:44 AM
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According to "How to live a low carbon life", trains aren't necessarily as green as is widely imagined. The faster the train, the more carbon emitted per mile travelled. On busy routes, it claims, long distance coaches are the most carbon-efficient way of travelling.

French trains do better than most, but only because the power's nuclear. The moment the train crosses into Germany, the true ecologist should get off and get the bus.
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Jun 13th, 2007, 06:01 AM
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flanner - i wonder if the book takes into account the new breed of TGV that runs on this route - designed to reduce weight significantly - could change the equation. Germany also has a lot of nuke plants but also coal of course.

And if the situation arises where trains and planes both run the route and have empty seats then it's foolish to do so
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Jun 13th, 2007, 06:05 AM
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How much more electricity does it take to run a heavier train cponsist than a "lighter" one?

How much more electricy does it take to run it faster rather than slower?

How many more people can you move for the same amount of energy in one train than in how many coaches (busses)?
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