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France to get five new high speed train lines after government gives green light

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France to get five new high speed train lines after government gives green light
Photo: AFP
10:11 CEST+02:00
The French government has approved five new high speed TGV 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 (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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