‘Look at it go!’ exclaimed a French colleague as a TGV hurtled across television screens during the lunchtime bulletin, breaking world records with a speed of 574.8 kph.
The express train was showing-off the new Paris-Strasbourg line to its journalist passengers, and Gallic excellence to the world. Across France, people and news commentators beamed with pride and presidential candidates scurried to lap up some of the good feeling. Hang the cost! France is the champion du monde! Hurray for the TGV!!