July 2017: LGV Train Paris-Bordeaux, 2 hours
The current journey time of 3 hours 14 minutes to Paris by TGV will be reduced to 2 hours in July 2017. With 18 direct roundtrips per day (six more than at present) a train will depart for Paris hourly throughout the day, and every half hour at peak times, with trains leaving earlier and later in the day. Bordeaux St Jean station already receives more than 11 million passengers a year and is linked to the city centre in just 10 minutes via the tram.
Bordeaux: a connected city
With the arrival of the LGV high speed line in 2017, which will make Paris accessible in just over two hours, 18 million passengers are expected to pass through Bordeaux in 2017.
The SNCF has designed these services for both business travellers and family/leisure travel within France and abroad. Rachel Picard, Executive Director of SNCF-Voyages, says that the company has forecast an increase of 2.3 million passengers by the end of 2019.
This connection is sure to add to Bordeaux's popularity with tourists. Bordeaux Mérignac international airport is already experiencing more growth in traffic than any other French airport. The platform receives more than 5 million passengers a year, serving more than 80 destinations, including 5 low-cost airlines and 15 international hubs (Barcelona, Casablanca, Istanbul, Lisbon, London, Lyon, Berlin, Rome etc.). The platform is served by 26 airlines and is connected to the city centre by a coach shuttle.
A high speed train service for the entire region
According to Alain Rousset, president of the Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes region and Alain Juppé, President of Bordeaux Metropole, the "high speed train service responds satisfactorily to the high and legitimate expectations expressed by communities, users and businesses". There are 27 towns that will directly benefit from the effect of this connection. The Toulouse-Paris journey will take 4 hours 9 minutes compared to the current 5 hours 25 minutes. The inhabitants of Agen, Mont-de-Marsan, Bergerac, Médoc and Arcachon will be able to do the return trip to Paris within a day.
And this new service is not an isolated project. It is part of a larger programme called Sud-Europe Atlantique, which already has plans for the construction of two more LGVs to Toulouse and Dax, in order, says Alain Rousset, to enhance connections to Spain.