SNCF president Mr Guillaume Pepy and the director general of SNCF Voyages Ms Barbara Dalibard were at Paris Gare de Lyon station today alongside a large numerical counter to show when the 2 billion point has been reached.

SNCF says TGV has become an integral part of French life, with 83% of the population having travelled on TGV at least once. TGV services are now carrying 127 million passengers a year. The 1 billionth passenger was carried in 2003, and SNCF expects to carry the 3 billionth in 2020.