The €2bn high-speed line from Baudrecourt to Vendenheim was originally due to open on April 3, but the start of commercial services was postponed following the derailment of a test train near Eckwersheim at the eastern end of the route on November 14, which killed 11 and injured 42, 22 of them seriously. Testing resumed at the end of February but repairs are still being carried out on the section of track damaged in the accident, necessitating single-line working on a 27km stretch of the route.
Until this work is completed, the Paris - Strasbourg journey time will be at least 1h 49min, although the fastest Paris-bound trains will still complete the trip in 1h 46min.
Sixteen services per day now operate in each direction between the two cities. The first Strasbourg - Paris Est service departs at 06.46, arriving in the capital at 08.35, while the final weekday service from Paris to Strasbourg departs at 20.40, reaching its destination at 22.30, with a later 21.55 departure on Fridays and Sundays.
French National Railways (SNCF) and German Rail (DB) have stepped up Paris - Frankfurt TGV/ICE services to six trains per day, with four trains running via Saarbrücken and Kaisersalutern and two new services operating via Strasbourg and Karlsruhe. Strasbourg now has three direct high-speed services a day to Frankfurt.
One of the new ICE services is targeted at the business market, departing from Frankfurt main station at 06.58 and arriving at Paris Est at 10.49 (10.40 from December).
The Strasbourg - Luxembourg route also benefits from a 30-minute reduction in journey time, with two trains per day completing the journey in 1h 39min.
SNCF forecasts ridership on the new line will reach 12.8 million passengers per year by 2020, with 10.7 million passengers using domestic services and 2.1 million travelling internationally.
The initial 300km phase of TGV Est from Vaires-sur-Marne east of Paris to Baudrecourt opened in June 2007.