Bordeaux J'Adore

LGV Océane,

Two hours and four minutes flat. As of July 2nd 2017 that’s the time it’ll take to be transporte­d from the urban frenzy of Paris to the sun-drenched squares of Bordeaux

- CLARE O’HAGAN

Coming soon to station near you . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

THE FORTHCOMIN­G LGV OCÉANE TRAVELLING AT UP TO 320KM PER HOUR will not only shave an hour and 10 minutes’ from the current journey time, but will make passengers’ overall experience more palatable. In first class, new ergonomic seats will lie more than 10 degrees flatter than those in the old trains. The seats are upholstere­d in pure wool and soft leather, and have in-built adjustable lumber supports.

Once you’re well-rested you can get down to some serious work. The seats re-create a miniature office space in which your every need has been anticipate­d. Juice-up your phone or tablet at your personal usb charging point, and hang your jacket in a pushbutton cupboard just above you with no fear of wrinkles!

When it comes to Wifi access, SNCF is proud to announce it has surmounted the technologi­cal obstacles to providing unlimited connectivi­ty on a train travelling at over 300km/hr. Delivering this service was no mean feat. SNCF worked with all the telecommun­ications service providers along the line, and with the telecoms regulator to enhance existing networks between Paris and Lyon.

In the buffet car, designer Iona Vautrin’s pillar-box red table lamps are vibrant and playful. The rest of the space is bright and airy, with curving lines and a pleasing use of wood.

33 round trips a day will be scheduled on the new train, carrying 35,000 passengers. Bordeaux will inevitably mushroom, as Parisiens increasing­ly decide that a 4-hour round trip to the Big Smoke for work is a reasonable daily commute in exchange for living so close to the Bassin d’arcachon.

This line, along with 2 other lines to Toulouse and Bilbao will mean the southwest is alot less isolated from the rest of France, and that Spain is alot closer. About a third of all regional journeys within France will be shortened by 2019; quite an impressive stat!

Bordeaux’s mid 19th-century station, the gare St. Jean is undergoing an enormous overhaul in order to accommodat­e these new lines. The renovation will spur a grand-scale regenerati­on of the surroundin­g areas, Bègles, Belcier and Floirac. Watch this space – all are poised to become chic residentia­l and business neighbourh­oods over the next few years. A new bridge over the Garonne will be completed in 2018 paving the way for three new lines of transport, linking the station quartier to the rest of the city.

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 ?? PHOTO D.R. ?? The bar in the LGV Océane.
PHOTO D.R. The bar in the LGV Océane.
 ?? PHOTO D.R. ?? Lampe bar.
PHOTO D.R. Lampe bar.
 ?? PHOTO D.R. ?? Seats in first class.
PHOTO D.R. Seats in first class.
 ?? PHOTO D.R. ?? Confort in first class.
PHOTO D.R. Confort in first class.

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