Our guide to the future of travel (#'s 78-83): Expanded service for France's TGV; an art-filled new terminal at JFK Airport; Continental's latest route: 8,443 miles
In June, France will open the newest expansion of its high-speed TGV network, extending the Paris—Lyons—Valence train line to Avignon, and from there to both Marseilles and Montpellier. It will cut the Paris—Marseilles ride from 4 hours and 20 minutes to just 3 hours.
79. JFK TERMINAL 4
The rebuilt International Terminal (Terminal 4) at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport should be fully operational by midyear, under the management of the company that runs Amsterdam's renowned Schiphol Airport. The redone Terminal 4 is a two-concourse glass structure with 144 check-in counters able to process 20 bags per minute. Besides a shopping mall, the terminal has culture: artworks commissioned from design team Diller + Scofidio and sculptors Deborah Masters and Harry Roseman.
80. RIDING THE RAILS
This month, Rail Europe launches the Eurail Selectpass, a less expensive version of the Europass that lets you travel in any 3 of 17 countries (as long as they're connected by rail or ferry) instead of the usual five. Selectpasses start at $328 for five days of travel over two months (or $280 per person for two traveling together), and also come in 6-, 8-, and 10-day versions. 888/382-7245; www.raileurope.com.
81. Athens is expected to cut the ribbon on a much-needed new international airport later this year.
82. SEAMLESS TRANSFERS
Germany will begin testing the ultimate multi- modal, intercity rail-air connection this spring. The system will allow international air travelers departing from Stuttgart to check in for flights at the rail station, board a high-speed train to Frankfurt Airport, and transfer right to the gate. If it works, the service could be established at other major stations such as Cologne and Düsseldorf.
83. NEW NONSTOPS
On March 1, Continental Airlines will make history by launching the longest nonstop route ever by a U.S. carrier—8,443 miles, from Newark to Hong Kong, on a Boeing 777. That is, until April 1, when United begins flying a 747-400 nonstop from New York JFK to Hong Kong, a route that's 2.6 miles longer. Other new international flights: Denver—Frankfurt and Phoenix—Frankfurt on Lufthansa (starting March 25); San Jose—Paris and San Jose—Taipei on American (April 1); Philadelphia—Brussels on US Airways (May 9); Washington Dulles—Manchester, England (April 30), and Chicago—Manchester (May 21), on British Midland.