Train takes passengers to Paris in 2.5 hours

US5 performs at train station fest Sunday

***image1***The German railway company, Deutsche Bahn, offers a new train connection going to Paris starting Sunday. The joint venture project includes the German ICE train and the French TGV train. The TGV travels the southern route and can be boarded in Stuttgart, Karlsruhe and Strasbourg, France. The ICE starts its tour on the north route in Frankfurt and stops in Mannheim, Kaiserslautern and Saarbrücken in Germany, and Forbach and the new TGV Lorraine station in France.

In only 2.5 hours travelers reach the French capital if boarding in Kaiserslautern. The ICE/TGV trains travels with a record speed of 320 kilometers per hour (199 mph).

“Travel time is shortened by about two hours,” said Alfred Jung from the DB marketing office. “Both trains are very comfortable,” he added.

The ICE has leather seats, outlets, an audio system and video in the first class, at the seat service with food and drinks and a panorama lounge. The TGV has newly designed seats made with the assistance of fashion designer Christina Lacroix and more space for the legs, even in second class. There is a bar and a bicyle compartment. Also available are soda vending machines and games for children.

Three trains leave Kaiserslau-tern daily. One goes directly to Paris, and travelers on the other two have to change trains in Saarbrücken.

The ICE celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. There are 236 of its kind, which transport about 180,000 travelers each day. More than 70 million people travel with ICE each year. The ICE stops in 100 cities in Germany and offers connections to Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Both trains, ICE and TGV, offer their passengers admittance to the special lounges in the train stations and a reception service at Gare de l’Est in Paris. Service teams in the trains speak English, French and German. The first class also includes daily newspapers, a light meal, which is served at the seat, and a taxi reservation service.

“We still have a special offer to introduce the train with tariffs starting at €19,” said Mr. Jung. This Paris Special is only available at ticket machines or through the Internet, If buying the ticket in the service center in the train station, it costs €5 more. The €19 ticket is valid in the second class and can be used today through Aug. 31. Passengers with the BahnCard 25, 50 and 100 will get the regular discounts.

The Deutsche Bahn sponsors a fest from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at Kaiserslautern’s train station to celebrate the introduction of the first special trains going to Paris. Bands are performing, games are offered, slide shows are presented and information is provided. Highlights are the renowned band US5 playing at 2 p.m. and German singer Yvonne Catterfeld and Band performing at 5 p.m.