TGV Lyria is based in Paris, France, and is responsible for the commercial train lines that commute passengers between France and Switzerland. For many travellers throughout Europe the TGV Lyria has provided a way between the two European destinations since 1961.
TGV Lyria History
In 1961, the Trans Europe Express Cisalpin trains ran and connected the train route between Paris and Luasanne, as well as provided service to Milan. This service was replaced in 1984 by the TGV service with tri-current locomotives and the service was cut back to Luasanne. In 1987, the train service was rebranded as EuroCity. At this time, service was available to Berne as well. In 1993, the GIE was created to operate the segments between Paris and Luasanne/Berne, but service to Geneva was not available at that time. During the winter of 1995-1996, a single roundtrip per day service was added between Lausanne to Brig to stop at stations serving ski resorts in the Rhone Valley. Stops on this route included Montreaux, Aigle, Martigny, Sio, Siders, and Visp. Not long after this service came about, it was rebranded, along with other trains providing similar services, as the TGV des Neiges.
In 1997, the services were slightly reorganized and rebranded as Linge de Coeur. This brought about the inauguration of the first refurbished train to sport the new Linge de Coeur livery. In 1999, a second service to Zurich was introduction along with the inauguration of the second TGV Lyria des Neiges upon introduction of a service to Bex, calling at Montreus and Aigle. 2001 saw the introduction of a fourth line between Paris and Lausanne with return service. This now put TGV Lyria offering three services: one Paris-Brig return services, one Paris-Aigle return service, and two Paris-Siders return services.
In March of 2002, the Lyria name was applied for the first time to the train service.
This year also brought on the introduction of TGV Lyria d’ete, which is a summer service with lines between Siders and Brig operating between June 14 and September 30. The line has two Paris-Brig return services and one Paris-Siders return service. Since 2002, the name has slowly come to stand for all TGV services between France and Switzerland and was applied to the Paris-Geneva trains around 2005.
In 2003, the introduction of a year-round Paris-Brig service was announced. This would include two return services leaving Paris on Fridays and Sundays and leaving Brig on Saturdays and Mondays. In 2005, TGV begin integrating Paris-Geneva service into Lyria’s routes. This included up to seven return services per day. 2006 marked the creation of the TGV Lyria brand and development of the TGV Lyria graphic identity.
In 2007, Lyria service between Paris and Zurich began using a newly-constructed line instead of the previous route passing through Strabourg, Colmar, Mulhouse, and Basel. As a result the service from Paris runs from the Gare de l’Est instead of Gare de Lyon. Since 2009, services have been reduced to various locations, however TGV Lyria has plans to launch a new line named the Haut-Bugey. In September of 2010, the Haut-Bugey line which connects Bourg-Bresse and Bellegard-Valserine will reduce the total time between Paris and Geneva by 30 minutes and the track capacity will be increased, allowing nine trains each way per day instead of seven.
This railway line will connect Paris with Geneva with a total travel time under three hours. Also, since there are nine total daily round trips, passengers will have more options when travelling between Paris and Geneva. The TGV Rhine-Rhone route is set to launch in 2012. The line will introduce a new high speed railway connect Genlis and Belfort with six Paris-Basel/Zurich services per day. The travel time for the Paris-Basel route will be approximately 3 hours and the Paris-Zurich route lasting approximately 4 hours.
TGV Lyria’s Amenities
TGV Lyria offers first class service while providing a peaceful break for its passengers. While TGV Lyria gets delivers you quickly and safely to your destination you may read, work, or enjoy a delicious meal or simply sit back and relax. TGV Lyria is ideal for a wide array of passengers. From the business traveller to couples on a weekend getaway, families travelling to see one another for the holidays, no matter the reason for using TGV Lyria your trip are sure to be smooth and enjoyable.
Once you arrive on board TGV Lyria’s first-class carriages, you’ll be offered a complimentary refreshing beverage. TGV Lyria’s staff is delighted to serve you a cold soft drink to further enhance your journey. Once you’re relaxed, TGV Lyria offers a large selection of free daily press so you have the world’s news at your fingertips. In addition to the daily press, TGV Lyria also offers a wide array of magazines, as well as Swiss, French and International daily newspapers in at least three languages, all free of charge.
If you’re looking for a specific magazine, then you may check out the newsstand, which is accessible on board! No matter what type of newspaper or magazine literature you’re interested in reading, you’re sure to find it travelling aboard TGV Lyria train lines.
Another great service TGV Lyria offers is restaurant-style service at your seat! Enjoy a variety of menu items, as well as being serviced without leaving the comfort of your seat. You can admire the beautiful landscape outside while enjoying your favourite breakfast, lunch, or dinner. TGV Lyria offers a healthy breakfast including a hot drink, break, croissant, butter, jam, a yogurt, and an orange juice for less than 10€ / CHF 15. You may also enjoy and three course meal for less than 23€ / CHF 37 that includes an appetizer, main course, dessert, mineral water and coffee.
TGV Lyria offers a couple options to pay for your meal. You may book and pay for your meal online prior to boarding the train. When departing from France, you can pay for your meal when you purchase your TGV Lyria ticket at the SNCF train station. In doing so, you will receive a 10% discount on the price of your meal. When departing from Switzerland, you may book your meal when buying your ticket at the CFF train station. Payment will incur once on board, on the day you are travelling.
Travellers may also purchase their meal once on board the train. Please note that the different methods of payment are: cash (either in Euros or CHF), cheque that is payable in France and only when presenting an official id card or passport in order to prove your identity , French “Ticket Restaurants” (restaurant vouchers) or by French bank cards with a chip and CB logo. For individuals travelling from outside Europe, foreign bank cards with VISA, MasterCard, or American Express logos are also accepted.
For the business traveller or anyone using electronic devices such as a laptop or mobile phone, TGV Lyria offers a 220 volt power socket. So while your body is recharging, so can your electronic devices.
TGV Lyria’s service does not end once you arrive at your destination. International first-class passengers have the option of free service to order a taxi. Have your driver waiting on you once you arrive at the train stations at Paris Gare de Lyon or Paris Gare de l’Est. Passengers taking advantage of this service simply need to inform the ticket inspector. The inspector will be in charge of making the reservation and providing you with the relevant confirmation slip.
Once you arrive at your destination go to the “Taxis Reserves” reception areas and your driver will be waiting for you. Please note: passengers are responsible for settling their taxi fare which will include the distance travelled by the driver to collect the passenger at the station and any additional fee due to variances such as excessive luggage. For passengers travelling to Switzerland, once you leave the train you should proceed to the RailTaxi meeting point, which is located in the centre of the station. Your taxi driver will be waiting for you there.
RailTaxi provides high-quality transportation with reasonable fares, and has offices in 31 cities and districts throughout Switzerland. To reserve your taxi in Switzerland call toll free (+41) (()) 800 44 22 66, phones are open 24 hours a day.
For future travellers with TGV Lyria, as of December 12, 2010 Lyriapremiere will be available. This service is for first class passengers travelling between Paris and Switzerland. This service will include a wide variety of magazines as well as Swiss, French and International daily newspapers, all free of charge and available in at least three languages.
Additionally, TGV Lyria will offer a cold restaurant service at your seat throughout the day. TGV Lyria’s staff is delighted to provide this service and hopes to enhance your journey, meeting your every need. Lyriapremiere is planned to launch in December 2010 on the Paris-Geneva, Paris-Lausanne, and Paris-Neuchatel/Bern routes. Lyriapremiere will launch in 2011 on the Paris-Basel/Zurich route.
TGV Lyria Rewards
For International travellers frequently using TGV Lyria’s services, you can earn rewards through your travel! This loyalty programme is for travellers residing in France who can now take advantage of the SNCF Grand Voyageur (Frequent Traveller) loyalty programme. Travellers will collect S’Miles and they may use them any time they travel. Benefits of this programme include numerous services and offers. Loyalty programme members will gain access to comfortable lounges throughout France and Europe, equipped with Internet access, magazines, drink, and bar service. All you need to do is present your Grand Voyageur card and current travel ticket to access these VIP rewards.
Family Travel with TGV Lyria
TGV Lyria accommodates families who are travelling together. TGV Lyria’s family services include a family area, which allows your children an area in which to play. This family area is located in second class, non-smoking carriages. A family area offers four seats that face one another and are separated from the rest of the carriage by a glass partition. This area also had folding seats and a table which allow passengers to free up space for storing a pushchair or other baggage. There is also a nursery available near each family area. These nurseries are easily accessible and equipped with a changing table and bottle warmer. TGV Lyria also offers affordable fares for families that include a one or two adults and children under the age of 12. TGV Lyria also offers a baby pass for children under four years old.
Travellers With Disabilities
TGV Lyria also has accommodations for individuals travelling with disabilities. All TGV Lyria trains have space in first class (carriages 1 or 11) that is especially reserved for wheelchair users. In addition, the toilets have been adapted for disabled access. Persons with disabilities when making their reservation should ask if this space can be reserved for them. Should space not be available and if the person is able to get from the platform into a passenger seat, then a standard seat can be reserved. The wheelchair must be folded and stored away to comply with TGV Lyria’s safety regulations and to avoid causing obstructions.
Choosing TGV Lyria
TGV Lyria has established a long history of providing excellent service to their passengers while making their train rail trips enjoyable and fun. TGV Lyria provides a number of first class amenities including first class meals, numerous free reading materials, sockets to recharge laptop and mobile phone batteries, as well as accommodating families travelling together and individuals with disabilities. TGV Lyria wants your journey between France and Switzerland to be affordable, timely, and relaxing.