New fast-rail service makes debut in France

A new era in transportation opened yesterday when France's new highspeed train -- the fastest in the world -- began its inaugural run from Paris to Lyon at an average speed of 156 m.p.h.

Looking like a plane without wings, the bullet-nosed TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse) carried President Francois Mitterrand and other dignitaries on the historic trip.

The train made the 300-mile run south in 2 hours, 32 minutes, 1 hour and 12 minutes faster than the regular rapid express.

Next week, 21 TGVs will begin service between Paris and Lyon. Two will continue to Geneva.

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