France’s High-Speed Rail Expansion Takes a New Direction - CityLab


France’s high-speed rail network is about to get a massive expansion.

On Tuesday, the government of President Emmanuel Macron announced a €13.4 billion ($15.5 billion) injection of funds into the high-speed TGV network, with work due to be staggered over the next decade. This increase of 44 percent on the previous government’s investments will deliver five new high-speed links, connections that have long been suggested and now have their funds confirmed and first steps agreed to.

The new links will connect fresh destinations at a maximum speed of up to 173.5 miles (279.3 kilometers) per hour, and their locations reveal a clear new sense of direction. Of the five links, only one connects directly to Paris.

This is, by and large, new. Until now, almost all projects for the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse, which translates simply as “high-speed train”) have been about connecting the French capital with the regions. The first link, between Paris and Lyon, opened in 1983, and ever since, the TGV map has resembled a spider with thin, spindly legs of high-speed track extending out from a body located in Paris.

Just two lines so far have bucked the trend. One is a short 1994 Paris bypass link that allows trains to cross France from south to north (and on to Belgium and the U.K.) without being obliged to stop at a Parisian terminus. The other is Northeastern France’s Rhine-Rhone link, opened in 2011, which still hosts services to Paris that continue on at slower speeds on regular tracks, and will likely be extended to the capital at a later date.

Click here to read the full article: https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/09/france-tgv-expansion/569992/

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