Currently, traveling from Paris to Toulouse on the high-speed TGV train requires passing through Bordeaux, bringing the total journey time to four-and-a-half hours.
“Toulouse is the last big French city that isn’t served by the direct TGV,” said Gilles Dansart, journalist, rail transport specialist and editor of the site Mobilettre, specialising in mobility news.
— Hubert MESSMER 💉😷 🧘♂️ #RestezPrudents (@Zehub) April 29, 2021
The government will devote €4.1 billion to the project, which has been under discussion for around 40 years.
According to France 3, the idea of connecting Toulouse to the capital through the high-speed rail network was first floated around the 1980s, though nothing concrete was set into action until 2004 by Philippe Douste Blazy, the former Mayor of Toulouse.
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Originally, Blazy set the project date to 2015. This was later pushed back a few times and was put on hold completely, relaunching in 2018 for a 2030 opening. The project is now back on for 2024, the year that Paris will be hosting the Olympics.
Speaking to France Info, one Toulousain commented “with the comfort of the train, being able to take it after work to arrive in Paris within three hours before 8pm we can join friends when the bars and restaurants open!”