The "TGV" (train grande vitesse) provides a comfortable and fast way of reaching the South West of France from Paris and other regions.
The rail system in France, like so many other countries, has been drastically pruned in the past. You can still find abandoned rail stations, covered in grass and weeds, and overgrown tracks snaking their way to nowhere in the countryside.
That said, France is justifiably proud of its fast trains, the TGV (trains grande vitesse), which provide a very fast and comfortable ride between the various regional centres of the country - and have done so for many years now.
The South West of France has basically two (connected) lines, one North/South starting from Paris and going through Bordeaux via Bayonne to Spain, and an East/West route from Bayonne through Pau to the Mediterranean. One TGV line goes from Paris via Bordeaux to Bayonne and the south, while a second line goes from Paris to Pau via Orthez. South of Bordeaux the TGC travels at normal speeds as the track has yet to be upgraded.
There is also a local train service on those lines, and you can still book through to the towns and villages that used to be served by the train network, transferring to a bus for the last part of the journey. You can book directly from the UK and other countries by using out partner Eurostar to some destinations which we have flagged below..
The towns listed below are those with working stations that are still on the actual rail network.
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