French PM announced funding the Bordeaux – Toulouse high speed line


French Prime Minister Castex announced that French government will contribute €4,1BN to help finance the long-planned high speed line between Bordeaux and Toulouse. He emphasised that the project would help to create an ‘efficient’ link between the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, as well as bringing together the two major economic centres.

The construction is planned to begin in 2024, meaning the new line opening would be scheduled around 2030.
The Bordeaux – Toulouse LGV was awarded a Declaration of Public Utility by the Conseil d’Etat in June 2016, but has so far failed to progress for lack of funding. The project involves the construction of 222 km of new line from Saint-Médard-d’Eyrans on the outskirts of Bordeaux to Saint-Jory, north of Toulouse. Of this, the first 55&bsp;km as far as Bernos-Beaulac in the south of the Gironde département is envisaged as a ‘common core’ with a proposed route towards Dax and the Spanish border, although there has been no further progress with that scheme.

The route has been designed for 320 km/h operation, and would have two intermediate stations serving Agen and Montauban. It is expected to provide a fastest journey time of 1 h 5 min between Bordeaux and Toulouse or 1 h 20 min with two stops. Paris – Toulouse timings would be cut to 3 h 15 min from today’s best of 4 h 10 min, reports Railway Gazzette.

The state contribution would cover around 50% of the total cost, which is currently estimated at between €7bn and €8bn, while the European Union is expected to contribute a further 20%. The remaining funding would have to be raised locally.

Prime Minister also announced that the government intended to accelerate work on the Montpellier – Béziers section of the proposed Montpellier – Perpignan high-speed line. He said a formal public enquiry for this section would begin before the end of 2021, with the hope that construction could also begin in 2024. Photo Railway Gazzette