New seasonal rail service between Lausanne and Marseille to launch this summer
For people in Switzerland, a trip to the seaside by train is a far-fetched fantasy, with most having to make do with taking a dip in the local lake instead. Now however, the residents of Canton Vaud will be able to reach the beaches of southern France in good time this July, after TGV Lyria announced a new direct service between Lausanne and Marseille. However, there is a catch:
Lausanne to Marseille in under five hours
According to a press release from TGV Lyria - the company jointly owned by French and Swiss public transport that operates services between the two countries - the residents of Lausanne will be treated to a new direct service between the city and Marseille in 2023. A spokesperson told 20 Minuten that it will be the first connection between Vaud and the south of France and will be the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly way for families and individuals to visit the coast on holiday.
Every morning, the special TGV train will leave Lausanne at 7.45am, stopping at Geneva, Bellegard, Avignon and Aix-en-Pronvence, before arriving in Marseille at 12.10pm, cutting the journey time from five hours and five minutes to just four hours and 25 minutes The return leg sees the train leave Marseille at 1.46pm and arrive back in Lausanne at 6.48pm.
Special direct train between Lausanne and Marseille to only run in July
However, the new service between Lausanne and Marseille has a huge caveat attached to it: it will only run from July 1 to 23, 2023. A spokesperson from TGV Lyria told 20 Minuten that they hope the short-term service will help people in Switzerland visit the Festival of Avignon this summer, although they may explore extending the service should it be popular.
In addition, the direct service from Geneva to Marseille will be slightly longer lived, with TGV Lyria confirming that it will run from July 1 to August 27. While some technical issues have delayed the rollout of tickets, they should be available to buy on the Swiss Federal Railways website in the coming weeks.