PASSENGERS on France’s Paris Sud-Est line are enjoying more space and a revised seating layout on the route’s TGV fleet. The first three sets refurbished by SNCF’s Bischheim works entered service at the end of last year, and the mid-life overhaul of a further 14 is due to be completed this year.

As well as modifying SNCF’s first production series of high-speed trainsets for 300 km/h operation and replacing the familiar orange livery with the silver and blue applied to their Atlantique, Réseau and Duplex descendants, Bischheim is updating interiors that date from 1981.

To give passengers more leg room, each refurbished set has 21 fewer seats, with a total of 110 in first class and 240 in second. Luggage racks incorporating lighting units similar to those on Eurostar have been fitted throughout. In first class, where lighting can now be set at two different levels, red carpets have been fitted and TGV Réseau reclining seats with head- and armrests in black leather installed. Groups of facing seats screened by partitions are provided in one car.

In second class new seats finished in grey and green moquette have replaced mock leather green and blue coverings, and layouts have been altered to provide more facing pairs of seats. One of the five second class trailers in each set has all seats arranged in this way, and similar areas for families travelling with children have been installed elsewhere. The bar cars, previously refurbished in 1987, remain unchanged. o

CAPTION: Above: In response to passengers’ wishes, there is more legroom and more face-to-face seating in second class

Right: First class seating arranged with tables in refurbished Paris Sud-Est TGV