The move to CDG Express operation (that will connect Paris Gare de l’Est to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport) took a major step forward with Keolis and RATP Dev being tapped to operate the service as part of the Hello Paris consortium.
The move was announced by the French Ministry of Sustainable Development.
The consortium will operate the line for 15 years.
Currently, connections to Paris CDG are via the RER B line service, which goes via Paris Gare du Nord – taking around 35 minutes to complete the journey. The CDG Express programme will cut this down to 24 minutes.
It is planned for the route to run from Paris Est to CDG T2 using a mixture of existing infrastructure and 8km of new track – valued at €1.7 billion. Services are planned to commence operation on the 1at January 2024 – with services operating well into the period when Paris hosts the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The service will use the Alstom Coradia Liner train sets, operating a 20 minute frequency, operating between 05:00 to Midnight every day.
However, there will be a kicker to this – and it’s the cost of tickets on the CDG Express. Fares are projected to start at €24 for an adult single. This compares with the €9.50 that the RER service currently charges.
That’s some serious increase in prices. But to some (business travellers, time-pressed travellers) a 15 minute saving could be worth it.
Some high-speed links can and do charge the extra where money is time (see Heathrow Express, Hong Kong MTR Airport Express, and so on). And I’m sure that this won’t be the only ticket to be offered on this route.
For those interested in the CDG Express project, there’s a useful site about it at http://cdgexpress.groupeadp.fr.
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