'Surely some mistake', I thought, when I spotted the sleek double-decker train parked on the platform at Lille and apparently going to Poitiers, on my way back from a trip to London last week. Until now, I have only seen these double-deckers in use on the suburban lines that serve Paris.
It turned out that it was a new, state-of-the-art TGV. Inside it was more like a boite de nuit (night club) than a train, with soft, low level lighting, plush purple and navy seating and full length mirrors (none of which, unfortunately, you can see from this picture). In the corridors there were even little velvet banquettes in alcoves, where people could use their mobile phones. It definitely had the wow factor.
Everything looked shiny, slick and super-clean. (In other words, so not the Shabsted Express.) From the vantage point of the upper deck, I had a fantastic view of green fields and golden countryside whizzing by. You have to hand it to the French: they really know how to do trains.