Opening up to competition: we were at the start of the first “Trenitalia” train in Paris

By Pauline Damour the 18. 12. 2021 at 13 h 01 6 min read Subscribers

Paris-Lyon-Milan with the TGV “Freccia Rossa” from Trenitalia, let’s go! This Saturday 16 December, the first competition train on the main lines Vitesse boarded its passengers at the Gare de Lyon in Paris. The rival of the SNCF promises comfort, punctuality and tight prices. Reporting.

Departure of the first TGV Freccia Rossa from Trenitalia Gare de Lyon to Paris on 18 December 2021.


Despite the early departure time -7H 22 – there is a crowd this Saturday 18 December in front of platform C in Hall 1 of Gare de Lyon in Paris. It is the day of the big departures of the Christmas holidays but also that of the launch of the Italian TGV “Freccia Rossa”, the “red arrow” of Trenitalia which comes to tickle the SNCF on its most profitable line between Paris and Lyon-Pardieu, before continuing to Chambéry, Modane, Turin and Milan, its terminus.

The transalpine public company will have waited until the last minute to reveal the exact date of his arrival in France and the opening of sales – last Monday! – but here we are. It starts in small quantities: with only two round trips a day at 7 a.m. 22 and 13 H 15, where the SNCF aligns 18 TGV connections Inoui and 2 low cost Ouigo. The offer should however increase to three additional round trips from “start 2021”, promises Roberto Rinaudo, the general manager in charge of France and present this morning.

Many executives of the Italian company are from elsewhere came to make the maiden voyage, in the presence of the French media. At the quayside, the staff of Gares et Connexion is also on the war footing. Apart from a few technical details, such as the Trenitalia logo, too long to fit into the digital departure display board, “everything is going well”, breathes Marlène Dolveck, the general manager of the SNCF group SA, at front row of rail liberalization.