SNCF celebrated the launch of two new high-speed lines in France at the weekend.
In a statement on its website, the state-owned company said the new lines will cut journey times in the west of France, boost regional tourism and raise the profile of the Atlantic coastal regions nationally and internationally.
Both are extensions of the LGV Atlantique high-speed line from Paris, LGV Bretagne-Pays de la Loire connects Le Mans to Rennes and LGV Sud Europe Atlantique connects Tours to Bordeaux.
Initial plans for the lines began in the 1990s and thanks to a public-private partnership which has seen more than €12 billion spent overall, the lines opened on July 2.
In total €3.3 billion has been invested in the 182km LGV Bretagne-Pays de la Loire line, which connects Paris to Rennes in 1 hour and 25 minutes, saving 39 minutes in comparison to the conventional rail route.
Meanwhile the 302km LGV Sud Europe Atlantique extension has cost €9 billion and connects Paris to Bordeaux in 2 hours and 4 minutes, a saving of 1 hours and 10 minutes.
Funding has come from the French government and the regions of: Aquitaine, Centre, Limousin, Midi-Pyrénées, Brittany and Pays de la Loire, as well as SNCF, its subsidiary LISEA and the EU.
LISEA signed a 50-year contract with SNCF to build, maintain and operate the LGV Sud Europe Atlantique line while Eiffage Rail Express (ERE) signed a 25-year contract to develop, construct, operate and upkeep the LGV Bretagne-Pays de la Loire line.