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Author Topic: France to get five new high speed train lines after government gives green light  (Read 7619 times)
Lee
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« on: September 13, 2018, 12:50:40 am »

From The Local:

Quote from: The Local
The French government has approved five new high speed TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse) train lines as part of a plan which will see a whopping €13.4 billion invested in the country's transport infrastructure by 2023.

According to Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne this figure represents a 40 percent increase on the five-year period before French President Emmanuel Macron was elected.

The decision of where it was to be spent has been eagerly awaited since it was announced in January that the government would be investing €3 billion a year in improving the country's transport infrastructure.

The work will be staggered over time to avoid incurring large expenses immediately.

So where will the new lines run?

The new LGV (Large Goods Vehicle) (Lignes a Grande Vitesse) rail lines are set to run from:

Bordeaux-Toulouse

The main train stations in the two south west cities will also be developed and expanded to accommodate more passengers and more trains.

This upgrade means passengers will be able to travel from Paris to Toulouse in 3 hours 10 minutes in future rather than the current 4 hours and 15 minutes.

Montpellier-Perpignan

The Montpellier-Béziers section will be developed as a priority on this new line between the two cities on the Mediterranean coast in south west France. Presumably this will help speed up the TGV trains that link Paris and Gerona in northern Spain.

They currently have to slow down to a reduce speed once they pass Montpellier.

Marseille-Nice

The two cities on the Mediterranean coast could do with a high speed rail link up.

Paris-Le Havre

St Lazare station in Paris will be expanded as a first move to improve the line between Paris and the northern French port before the sections of the line between Paris and Mantes and then Mantes-Rouen will be upgraded to high speed lines.

CDG airport Roissy-Picardie

This will open improve access between the greater Paris region of Ile-de-France to the south of the northern Hauts-de-France region.

Passengers will be able to reach Paris Roissy-Charles de Gaulle train station from Chantilly, Creil, Pont-Sainte-Maxence, Clermont, Compiègne (Oise) and Amiens (Somme) on a direct train.

However before work begins on the new lines, the investments need to be integrated into a transport law which is set to be presented to parliament in October 2018 by the transport minister.

But these aren't the only changes set to hit France's much-lauded rail network.

Paris - Limoges line to be improved

The government has also sanctioned the upgrade of the Intercité (now called TET line) between Paris and Toulouse via Limoges.

All of the trains on the line will replaced by newer models and the lines upgraded which will cut 25 minutes off the journey time between Paris and Limoges.

Ouigo services from Gare de Lyon

The low-cost TGV service Ouigo is also set to grow its service and will start running services from Gare de Lyon in Paris to Marseille and the Côte d'Azur from December.
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stuving
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2018, 08:04:13 am »

I wondeed why all these goodies hadn't been reported elsewhere - just the push to make more out of Ouigo (still loss-making). Nor has there been an SNCF (Societe Nationale des Chemins de fer Francais - French National Railways) announcement. You may also wonder whether the new lines can be done for €13.4 Bn, or in five years if not done all a once!

It turns out this is all based on an interview with the Minister on BFM TV on Tuesday. The new lines are "approved" in the sense they haven't been vetoed, and taken out of the future programme, so can be done as an when funding is worked out, over an unstated long term. They are all next steps or missing links, apart from Paris-Le Havre which looks more like a political "where's ours" project.
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RailCornwall
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2018, 11:30:21 am »

How on earth they'll find a path along the Med. to link Marseilles and Nice bemuses me.
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stuving
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2018, 11:59:45 am »

How on earth they'll find a path along the Med. to link Marseilles and Nice bemuses me.

Since this wasn't a real announcement of a fully planned project, it's hard to say what it relates to. The previous plan, which was I think awaiting funding and approval, was to upgrade the existing line to higher-speed where possible, because a new high-speed line would probably need to be tunnelled most of the way. The minister may have been talking about that.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2018, 02:15:40 pm »

Let's give the French some credit - at least they consider investment in rail infrastructure on this scale something worth considering. By contrast, HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)) here is greeted with little short of hostility, and we cannot even complete electrification of the GWML (Great Western Main Line) to get the wires into Bristol's main station (or into Oxford at all).
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2018, 02:23:20 pm »

Larger land mass. Lower population density. Centres of population more dispersed. Capital city not in one corner of the country. Traditionally left of centre politically - more emphasis on state versus individualism.

Very different to the UK (United Kingdom).
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2018, 03:49:59 pm »

Larger land mass. Lower population density. Centres of population more dispersed. Capital city not in one corner of the country. Traditionally left of centre politically - more emphasis on state versus individualism.

Valid points but it strikes me as interesting that Marseille to Nice is being touted for a 15bn Euro High Speed link when it links two cities considerably smaller than our own Birmingham and Leeds (which are pretty much the same distance apart) yet have faced enourmous opposition in terms of our own very modest High Speed Line ambitions.
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« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2018, 06:10:38 pm »

Larger land mass. Lower population density. Centres of population more dispersed. Capital city not in one corner of the country. Traditionally left of centre politically - more emphasis on state versus individualism.

Valid points but it strikes me as interesting that Marseille to Nice is being touted for a 15bn Euro High Speed link when it links two cities considerably smaller than our own Birmingham and Leeds (which are pretty much the same distance apart) yet have faced enourmous opposition in terms of our own very modest High Speed Line ambitions.

Including from our own members.
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stuving
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« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2018, 07:48:10 pm »

Larger land mass. Lower population density. Centres of population more dispersed. Capital city not in one corner of the country. Traditionally left of centre politically - more emphasis on state versus individualism.

Valid points but it strikes me as interesting that Marseille to Nice is being touted for a 15bn Euro High Speed link when it links two cities considerably smaller than our own Birmingham and Leeds (which are pretty much the same distance apart) yet have faced enourmous opposition in terms of our own very modest High Speed Line ambitions.

Birmingham to Leeds is a "Euro High Speed Link" in the sense that it's part of the TEN-T comprehensive core network as a high-speed rail line. It may score a little lower on importance than Marseille to Nice, which is part of a route along the north side of the Mediterranean from Spain and then continues through Italy and further as a "south of the Alps" route. While TENtec has some money, it only provides a small amount as encouragement for new bits of this network, which mainly reflects what member states (and some non-embers) have built or propose to.

As to the reaction to new (for example) high-speed railway lines, and how it gets perceived in government and elsewhere, that is definitely a part of national culture, or cultures.
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stuving
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« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2018, 11:49:43 pm »

Larger land mass. Lower population density. Centres of population more dispersed. Capital city not in one corner of the country. Traditionally left of centre politically - more emphasis on state versus individualism.

Very different to the UK (United Kingdom).

I think that overstates the effect of geography. Great Britain and France are about the same length - 1000 miles - and Paris is almost as far off-centre as London, as well as being as dominant in economic and administrative terms. But there is a significant difference in their areas, as France is about the same length in any direction (it is known as l'Hexagone) while GB (Great Britain) is long and thin and tapers as you go north. The French population is also more evenly spread, since France has neighbours all round and the far end (from Paris) has warm weather; neither true of GB.

The area effect - twice as much per French head  - does mean there is more space for railways, as well as roads, airports, or anything else. Cities of course create their own population density, so the extra space does not help there.  Inversely, it would make the typical distance between people or places further, though only by 50%.

More important is the attitude to central government and its role in industry and business, which goes way back to Colbert or before. And a related factor, especially important in transport, is government centralisation - how much local government does. Fifty years ago everyone knew France was highly centralised, with its small départements and even cities subject to central governemtn via a préfet. However, in Britain by then the power of the municipalities had already been greatly reduced by wartime controls and subsequently. That has continued, so that local government in Britain now has little autonomy, while in France Mitterand's 1982 decentralisation plan has had a major impact. Not only has is given all levels of local government more to do and bigger budgets, but it created the regions which are big enough to control large budgets and were given the job of controlling transport.

National attitudes are misleading things, though. It's individuals that have the attitudes, and also have their own ides about what other's attitudes are, as do specific groups of people whose collective ideas can be seen as those of institutions. I reckon a lot of these perceptions about other's attitudes are decades out of date, or just plain wrong, as they can only be based on indirect reports (the media in some sense, who are another group with their own perceptions of others' attitudes). On the other hand the regional power structure is a real factor, and easier to observe.
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mjones
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2018, 11:44:09 am »

Let's not forget Italy either: a long thin country,  similar population to ours, a rich
end and a poor end. They haven't built as many high speed lines as France,  but it is still an important part of their system. Is there really something that makes Britain so unusual that it makes more sense to keep patching up routes planned in the 19th century rather than to build some  new lines to modern standards?
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« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2018, 12:08:07 pm »

Italy may have a rich end, and a poor end, but it does not have a heavily populated end and an empty end. The UK (United Kingdom) does.

It would be much more sensible to improve links across the North, and across the Midlands.

I'd also like to see the Bristol to Birmingham link improved
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Western Pathfinder
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« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2018, 01:34:26 pm »

I've said for some time now that HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)) should be X shaped rather than the projected Y shape .
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« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2018, 02:23:57 pm »

I've said for some time now that HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)) should be X shaped rather than the projected Y shape .

Nothing stopping the Y from turning into an X in the years to come.  Let’s get the Y built first then hopefully spurs can develop over time.
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« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2021, 08:03:23 pm »

It's being reported today that the government has committed funding for the Bordeaux-Toulouse LGV (Large Goods Vehicle). Obviously that's a major step, though it's not quite so clear why it counts as the biggest hoop of all.

Up to now, Toulouse has been seen as the big aeronautical city, and the official attitude to building an LGV has been "let them use planes". The new law that will ban domestic air services must have something to do with this new step, even if the journey time with the LGV will be over 3 hours so its planes to Paris won't be taken away (not until the next tightening of the restriction, at least).

There was also an announcement today of launching studies of the Montpellier-Perpignan LGV route. That's apparently a smaller hoop ... presumably it feeds into the costings that then have to be funded.

I'm not sure how far the other pre-approved lines have got. The line through Marseille and Nice, which will get piecemeal upgrades only partly to LGV standard, also made progress recently but it's hard there to spot any really big hoop.
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