On 19th October, the first track of the new East-European high speed line has been laid in France. This new track measures 300 kilometers and commercial trains will run at 320 km/h.
However, the track design is compatible with a maximum commercial speed of 350 km/h. With 1200 meters laid every day, the line will be ready for operations in 2007.
By this time, Strasbourg will be 2h20 away from Paris, Luxembourg 2h15, Frankfurt 3h45. The investment costs amount to 3.2bn euros, 1997 value, co-funded by SNCF (national railway company), RFF (rail infrastructure company), the European Union, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, French State, 4 regions, 8 counties (départements), but also 5 districts and municipalities.
A second part of the project consists in 106 more kilometers for the high speed track. Works should start before 2010 for this second stage.