This month a new high-speed railway line began operating between Paris and Bordeaux—reducing travel time from three hours twenty-five minutes to two hours and four minutes. This makes day trips between cities practical, and will further open up southwest France to visitors. Although there are currently multiple daily flights between cities, travel time between city centers and outlying airports can take between 30 and 45 minutes, making the train journey a more rapid alternative to flight.
It took five years of serious civil engineering efforts, and $9.1 billion (7.8 billion Euros) to lay these tracks and infrastructure across 117 communities , according to the Sud Ouest newspaper. This included constructing over 400 structures (including 24 bridges), and employing a fleet of environmental specialists and archaeologists to excavate around villages and cities along the route (such as Potiers and Angoulême) thereby minimizing the impact of the rail and creating hundreds of wildlife crossings.
New high speed train (‘Train à Grand Vitesse’ – TGV) between Paris and Bordeaux