Infrastructure manager SNCF Network says it plans to carry out around 200 test runs before the end of the year, incrementally increasing speeds to 352km/h, 10% above the 320km/h maximum operating speed.

The test train has been equipped with accelerometers to monitor vertical, longitudinal, and transverse acceleration and will also monitor the operation of signalling and radio communications systems and pantograph-catenary contact.

SNCF Network hopes to gain authorisation for passenger operation from the French Railway Safety Board (EPSF) by the end of the first quarter of next year.

Commercial services are due to start on April 3 when Paris - Strasbourg journey times will be cut from 2h 18min to 1h 48min, and Luxembourg - Strasbourg from 2h 10 min to 1h 25min.