In September we brought you news on how TGV Lyria was intending to capitalise on flight shame.
Now Business Traveller can reveal that the major capacity boost will be made possible by the operator upgrading to double-decker TGVs from December 15.
The first of 15 of the renovated TGVs has been unveiled in Switzerland – see this piece by 20min.ch for more details and a video clip of the new trainset.
TGV Lyria is attempting to compete with airlines by having not just keen fares, but good frequency and competitive journey times.
Between Paris Lyon and Geneva there will be eight daily roundtrips with six roundtrips featured on Paris-Zurich.
Journey times are competitive with air, based on city centre to city centre travel: just over three hours for Paris-Geneva, just over four hours for Paris-Zurich.
Quoted by 20min.ch GM Fabien Soulet said “We offer more space and capacity so that the train can play its key role in mobility.”
As with Eurostar and Thalys there will be a superior first class product (Business 1ère) where tickets are costlier but offer flexibility and provide at seat catering.
As an example for travel Paris-Geneva just after December, TGV Lyria’s website quotes one-way fares from €29 for standard and €39 for first class.
In the case of TGV Lyria the catering for Business 1ère come from chef Michel Roth.
Other seating options are standard and standard first class. The latter presumably affords more spacious seating only.
I was unable to locate the fares for Business 1ère but I did locate them on raileurope.co.uk (formerly loco2.com) but these were considerably more expensive. Priced in GBP the flat price was £171.50 one-way.
TGV Lyria is a joint venture high-speed rail service linking Paris Lyon with Geneva, Lausanne, Zurich and Basle.
Ownership is 74 per cent by SNCF of France and 26 per cent by SBB of Switzerland.