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We travelled the line between Marseilles to Nice 18 months ago - on a TGV we caught at Lille. It is a spectacular line - it hugs the coast all the way and you are sometimes just a few metres from the sea - but it is slow. Avignon to Nice seemed to take longer than Lille to Avignon as far as I remember, but it's no matter as it's all so pretty. There is certainly no advantage here to being in a TGV - save that the double-decker coaches allow a spectacular view of the beaches. There was much talk back then of a new TGV 'coastal bypass' - it's not like the French to dilly-dally about these things. As an aside it'd be nice if Eurostar could run all the way to the coast rather than stopping short at Avignon on their summer-only service from London.
 
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