For almost thirty years there has been talk of a high-speed line between Montpellier and Perpignan, without the project ever being done.
But Thursday, at the end of a project steering committee, dates were specified.
The first phase, up to Béziers, could be opened in 2034. As for the second phase, up to the Spanish border, it should wait… 2040.
For its defenders, the line will relieve the classic line, aging, and develop freight, to remove trucks on the A9.
Between Montpellier (Hérault) and Perpignan (Pyrénées-Orientales), there is no high-speed line (LGV).
Of course, TGVs ensure this journey every day, but without putting the rubber on.
It is also the only missing link between France and Spain.
And this project is not new: the very first time it was acted upon was… in 1995, when the Madrid agreements were signed.
The two countries were then committed to the construction of a railway line worthy of the name between the two countries.
Since then, despite the fervor of elected officials on all sides, it has always been postponed indefinitely.
Because such a project is very, very, expensive: 6 billion euros, 40% of which is paid by local authorities, the rest by the State and Europe.
But nearly thirty years after the Madrid agreements, the LGV seems to see the end of the tunnel.
Thursday, at the end of the first Board of Directors of the company that carries this sea serpent, slightly more precise dates were released.
Work on the LGV will thus be launched in two phases.
The first, between Montpellier and Béziers.
Work should start in 2029, with the line coming into service in 2034.
The second phase, up to the Spanish border, is not for today.
Construction will probably begin in 2035, and the line will be open… “by 2040”.
That is 45 years after the Madrid agreements.
“Things are progressing normally, with the idea, even of accelerating them”, assures Etienne Guyot, the prefect of Occitanie.
And pressing the mushroom is even the wish of Carole Delga (PS), the president of the Occitanie region.
"We will do everything to make it go faster," she says.
our file on the train
This new line will have great advantages, its defenders trumpet.
First, it will come to the rescue of the classic, aging and overloaded line.
In particular, it will make it possible to free up space on this line, to develop “everyday trains” there, all around the Mediterranean, notes Carole Delga.
But also to bet on freight, to try to remove trucks, too many on the A9 motorway.
Finally, it will allow travelers to save 40 minutes between Paris and Perpignan.
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