In July I rode the cab of a TGV train from Lyon to Paris. Once leaving Lyon on conventional tracks, the train moves on to the high speed line built in the early 1980s. Speeds for most of the trip are 186 mph. It is a real thrill and as you can see, the line has steep grades which make it evern more fun. Nothing quite like passing another train at that speed. At rush hour, the line operates on 4 minute headways. Simply an incredible system, but also the result of improvements that actually started in the 1950s. America built the interstates and the French built the TGVs. Pays your money and takes your choices.

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