The TGV will blow out its 40 candles with the President of the Republic.
For its anniversary, the SNCF High Speed Train will count Emmanuel Macron among its guests.
A celebration combined with Heritage Days, with a double exhibition at Gare de Lyon and at the former postal sorting hall, the Ground Countrol, in Paris.
Emmanuel Macron, will be present at the Gare de Lyon where he will unveil a full-scale model of the TGV M motor, long called “TGV of the future”, which the public company intends to put on track in 2024.
This new TGV ordered from Alstom will not be faster than the last trains running on the French network -320 km / h-, but the SNCF wants it more comfortable, more capacity, more flexible, more ecological, more economical.
In 2017, while inaugurating the extension of the new line to Rennes, Emmanuel Macron hailed "a technological success" and promised "not to relaunch large new projects but to undertake to finance the renewal of infrastructure ".
Indeed, the construction of 2,700 km of French high-speed lines (LGV) had weighed on the accounts of SNCF, whose enormous debt has long been worrying.
The TGV profitable before the pandemic
The rise of the TGV - first to Paris-Lyon, then to the Atlantic, the North, the Benelux and Great Britain, the South-East and the East - created a "two-speed SNCF" where it was the object of all the attentions to the detriment of the traditional network and the daily trains. Priority has therefore been given in recent years to the maintenance of the existing one. But most of the unserved elected officials have never ceased to claim “their” TGV, even though its arrival has raised real estate prices everywhere.
The tide is starting to turn, undoubtedly under the impetus of the ship-owner Jean Castex.
The Prime Minister, elected from Occitanie, has indeed relaunched the LGV Bordeaux-Toulouse and Montpellier-Perpignan projects.
With financing keys associating the State, local communities and Europe, but no longer the SNCF (which is content to buy the trains).
The TGV was, before the Covid-19 pandemic, a very profitable activity.
His birthday party allows him to escape a little from the current slump, while the great challenge of the national company is now to bring back passengers on the trains, and in particular the business clientele.
Italian, Spanish and Charente competition
To complicate matters, competition should finally arrive on French railways: the red high-speed trains of the Italian company Thello (Trenitalia) are indeed expected on Paris-Lyon-Milan "before the end of the year". They could be followed later to Lyon-Marseille by trains from the Spanish Renfe, then in the West by those of Le Train, a Charente company.
SNCF runs its TGVs to London, Brussels and Amsterdam via its subsidiaries Eurostar and Thalys, and to Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Spain with or without partnership with its European counterparts. In the spring, it launched its low-cost Ouigo service between Madrid and Barcelona, in Spain, against Renfe. As for Alstom's TGV, it was exported to Spain, Korea, Italy and Morocco, as well as to the United States in a slower derivative version.
Launched by Georges Pompidou and built under Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, the TGV was inaugurated on September 22, 1981 by François Mitterrand.
It was orange, was traveling only 260 km / h, and the new line between Paris and Lyon was still unfinished.
But it already made it possible to save an hour compared to the 3 hours 40 minutes that the fastest trains then took, a journey reduced to 2 hours in 1983.
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