• High-speed lines southward from Bordeaux

  • General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by lpetrich
Currently, France is building these high-speed-rail lines (LGV's):
  • Baudrecourt - Strasbourg, completing the line to the latter city
  • LeMans - Rennes
  • Tours - Bordeaux
  • Nîmes - Montpellier
François Hollande's government seems like it is de-emphasizing construction of high-speed lines in favor of improving regional rail and classic-line systems and the like. That government is nevertheless going ahead with some plans for high-speed lines:

Route revealed for Bordeaux – Toulouse/Dax high-speed lines | International Railway Journal
Cuvillier confirms high speed alignments to Toulouse and Dax - Railway Gazette

Bordeaux - Agen - Montauban - Toulouse
Halfway between Bordeaux and Agen - Mont-de-Marsan - Dax
With possible extension Dax - Bayonne - Hendaye / San Sebastián (Spain)

On the other side of the border, Spain to increase rail spending by 21% in 2014 | International Railway Journal
With more than 1200km of new lines still under construction, the government has prioritised the completion of the route connecting Madrid to the Ourense - Santiago line. It will invest €1bn in this project and the Santiago - Vigo corridor. ...

Plans to convert the broad-gauge Barcelona – Valencia main line to dual gauge will receive a major boost once the bill is passed, with €306m allocated for the installation of a third rail to allow standard-gauge trains to use the line.
  by lpetrich
List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants (2010 census) - Wikipedia - a "commune" is more or less a municipality or a township.

File:France TGV.png - Wikipedia
Solid: existing
Dashed: under construction
Dotted: planned / proposed

There are still some sizable cities some distance from LGV's, like Toulouse, Nice, Nantes, Montpellier, and Bordeaux, though construction is on its way to the latter two.
  by David Benton
Thanks for that.Must admit, I thought most of the dotted lines were already completed. So yes, I would say they have scaled back from the plans they had when i was there in the 90's.
  by lpetrich
France to launch high-speed rail inquiries | International Railway Journal For the Grand Southwest Railway Project (GPSO).
GPSO encompasses the construction of two high-speed lines totalling 420km from Bordeaux southeast to Toulouse and southwest to Dax, with a second phase from Dax to Hendaye on the Spanish border. The third element of GPSO involves improvements to the rail network to the south of Bordeaux and the north of Toulouse.
The inquiries should lead to a Declaration of Public Utility in 2015, start of construction in 2017, completion from Bordeaux to Toulouse in 2024, and completion from Bordeaux to Dax in 2027.

Also, nearly all the right-of-way construction is complete for the LeMans - Rennes line, and next will be track, electrification, and signaling. It should open in 2017.

SNCF to launch Strasbourg – Brussels TGVs in 2016 | International Railway Journal That's when the remaining part of LGV Est opens, from Baudrecourt near Metz to Vendenheim near Strasbourg.

For Tours-Bordeaux, I've found LGV SEA - LGV Tours Bordeaux and Réseau Ferré de France -- Ligne à Grande Vitesse -- Sud Europe Atlantique -- Tours > Bordeaux, both in French. From Frise chronologique - LGV Tours Bordeaux (timeline), I find its opening currently planned for 2017.
  by lpetrich
David Benton wrote:Possibly a case of running out of places with a big enough population/travel market to justify full blown LGV.
To check on that, I looked for a list of Paris's largest cities. It was hard to find a list by metropolitan-area population, so I had to look for some proxy for it that is listed in some suitable source.

First, France's hierarchy of subdivisions: List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants - Wikipedia
Paris heads the list at 2,243,833 people, with Marseille being next at 850,726, and Lyon at 484,344. The next ones fall off more smoothly. Checking on those cities, their metropolitan-area populations are 12,161,542, 1,720,941, 2,188,759. So a city's commune likely covers its urban core and not its suburbs. That trend continued with the next cities down in the list. So commune population seems like a halfway-good proxy for metropolitan-area population.

So the largest cities without LGV's (TGV lines) or ones under construction are Toulouse, Nice, and Nantes. Of these, Toulouse is in the Pyrenees mountains and Nice is in the Alps. Those mountains and those cities' remoteness will make LGV construction difficult. Nantes is fairly near Rennes, which is getting a LGV built to it, so it might eventually get one.

So France is indeed running out of populous and easily-accessible cities to connect with LGV's.