The SNCF celebrates, Friday, September 17, the forty years of existence of the high-speed train (TGV). A technological advance that has changed the perceived geography of France, bringing the capital closer to the main large cities.
If technical progress on tracks and trains had already made it possible to gradually reduce train journey times since the 1950s, the installation of high-speed lines (LGV) resulted in spectacular time savings: firstly between Paris and Lyon in 1981, then to most of the major cities of France (Rennes and Nantes in 1989, Bordeaux in 1990, Lille in 1993, Marseille in 2001, Strasbourg in 2007 and Bordeaux again in 2017…).
See on the diagram below the reduction in travel time from Paris to several cities arranged to reflect their geographical position. The slide allows you to scroll through the years since 1957 or to stop at a particular date. The time savings are much smaller for Caen, the only one of these cities that does not have a TGV service.
This article is an updated excerpt from a visualization published in July 2017, on the occasion of the inauguration of the LGV Atlantique, to Rennes and Bordeaux.