LGV Rhin-Rhône

The LGV Rhin-Rhône (Ligne à Grande Vitesse) is a high-speed railway line, the first in France to be presented as an inter-regional route rather than a link from the provinces to Paris,[1] though it actually is used by some trains to/from Paris. The first phase of the eastern branch opened on 11 December 2011. Construction of its second phase was expected to start in 2014 but has unclear funding at this stage.

If completed, LGV Rhin-Rhône would have three branches:

The construction of the latter two branches and of the second phase of the Eastern branch is currently unfunded.

France TGV
Map of France showing LGVs. LGV Rhin-Rhône is shown in shades of blue, south-east of Paris.

Running north-south, the Southern branch line would help connect Germany, the north of Switzerland, and eastern France on the one hand with the valleys of the Saône, Rhône, the Mediterranean arc and finally Catalonia on the other. The east-west Eastern and Western branches lines would help connect on the one hand London, Brussels, Lille and Île-de-France (i.e., Paris and surroundings) with Burgundy, Franche-Comté, south Alsace, southern Baden, and Switzerland on the other.

A connection will be built at Perrigny, south of Dijon, to serve TGV and freight trains. Auxon station will be connected to Besançon-Viotte station by a railway line which could be also used for commuter trains.

It is projected that 12 million passengers per year will use the LGV Rhine-Rhône service.[2]

LGV Rhin-Rhône Branche Est
LGV Rhin-Rhône schema
LGV Rhin-Rhône schema
TypeHigh-speed rail
StatusOperational, partly under construction
LocaleFrance (Burgundy, Franche-Comté)
TerminiPetit-Croix, near Mulhouse
Villers-les-Pots, near Dijon
StationsGare de Besançon Franche-Comté TGV,
Gare de Belfort - Montbéliard TGV
Opened11 December 2011
OwnerSNCF Réseau
Rolling stockTGV Duplex
TGV Sud-Est
TGV Réseau
Siemens Velaro D (from 2014)
Line length140 km (87 mi)
Number of tracksDouble track
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification25 kV 50 Hz
Operating speed320 km/h (200 mph)
LGV Rhin-Rhone Rame inaugurale
Inaugural train (with pres. Nicolas Sarkozy on board) on the first stretch of the LGV Rhin-Rhône, 8 September 2011, near Genlis.

Eastern branch

The first phase of the eastern branch runs 140 km (87 mi) of the 190 km planned length, connecting Villers-les-Pots (east of Dijon) to Petit-Croix (southeast of Belfort), was officially opened by President Nicolas Sarkozy on 8 September 2011,[3] with passenger services starting on 11 December 2011.[4]

The eastern branch is used by TGV trains operated by SNCF, the French national railway company. It will become a key link in both the North-South and East-West transport corridors. The line carries regional, national, and intra-European traffic. Mulhouse provides connection to Basel, Switzerland, and then to southwestern Germany and northwestern Switzerland.


The financing agreement for the first phase of the eastern branch was signed on 28 February 2006. The estimated cost of the first section of the eastern branch is 2.312 billion euros, shared between many organisations.[5]

The largest contributors of funds are the Government of France (€751 million), the maintainer of the French rail network RFF (€642 million) and the European Union (€200 million).[3] Significant funding also came from the three regions of France that the line travels through: Franche-Comté (€316 million), Alsace (€206 million) and Burgundy (€131 million). A further €66 million was funded by the Government of Switzerland.[3]


Preparatory works began in 2005, and construction officially started on 3 July 2006 with a ceremony in Les Magny, Haute-Saône. Actual construction of the first section started north of Besançon on 7 August 2006.

Réseau Ferré de France appointed French engineering and consulting companies Setec and Egis to build the line. The construction of the Eastern branch was divided into two sections :

Journey times

Upon completion of the first section of the eastern branch, best journey time are:[7]

from to before after
Dijon Strasbourg 3h25 2h00
Dijon Frankfurt 6h30 3h40
Besançon Marseille 4h15 4h00
Belfort-Montbéliard TGV Paris 3h25 from Belfort
3h40 from Montbéliard
Strasbourg Lyon 4h45 3h35

See also


  1. ^ Murray Hughes (5 September 2007). "Inter-regional TGV line will have an international impact". Railway Gazette International.
  2. ^ Railway Gazette, Presidential opening for LGV Rhin-Rhône, 8 september 2011.
  3. ^ a b c "Presidential opening for LGV Rhin-Rhône". Railway Gazette International. 8 September 2011.
  4. ^ "LGV Rhin-Rhône opens". Railway Gazette International. 12 December 2011.
  5. ^ Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing, Le financement de l'infrastructure, consulted 28 December 2007
  6. ^ "Inauguration of the TGV Rhine-Rhone high speed line". UIC eNews Nr 254. International Union of Railways. 9 September 2011.
  7. ^ "Présentation de la LGV Rhin-Rhône". Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing. 1 June 2007. Retrieved 29 November 2011.

External links

2011 in rail transport

This article lists events related to rail transport that occurred in 2011.

Agence de financement des infrastructures de transport de France

The Agence de financement des infrastructures de transport de France (AFITF) is an établissement public administratif national (EDAN) whose goal is to fund transport projects in France.

Starting from 2013, the AFITF will receive a part of the incomes generated by the taxe poids lourds.


Alleo is a railway company that operates high-speed rail passenger services between France and Germany. The company is a joint subsidiary of SNCF and Deutsche Bahn with headquarters in Strasbourg. Rhealys is a consortium of Deutsche Bahn (DB), French (SNCF), Luxembourg (CFL) and Swiss (SBB) railways preparing high-speed railways between Paris, Luxembourg, Switzerland and south west of Germany. The registered office is at Luxembourg.

The name Rhealys is a portmanteau of Rhine, Alsace and Lys, because the route traveled Rhine-Alsace-France, the last being symbolized by the Fleur-de-Lys. Although Rhealys prepared the connections listed below, the international train connections between France and Germany are operated since mid-2007 by the newly founded German-French company Alleo. The connections between France and Switzerland are operated by the company Lyria.

Athée, Côte-d'Or

Athée is a French commune in the Côte-d'Or department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region of eastern France.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Athéens or Athéennes.

Basel–Biel/Bienne railway

The Basel–Biel/Bienne railway (also known in German as the Jurabahn—Jura Railway) is a standard gauge railway line of the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) and the BLS AG. It runs from Basel SBB along the Birs in the French-speaking Jura to Delémont and Biel/Bienne. The traffic on the line is shown in table 230 of the official timetable.

Belfort Gap

The Belfort Gap (French: Trouée de Belfort) or Burgundian Gate (German: Burgundische Pforte) is a plateau located between the northern rim of the Jura Mountains and the southernmost part of the Vosges in France. It marks the divide between the drainage basins of the Rhine River in the east and that of the Rhône (Doubs and Saône) in the west, part of the European Watershed between the North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

Gare de Belfort – Montbéliard TGV

Belfort – Montbéliard TGV is a high speed railway station located in Meroux, Territoire de Belfort, eastern France. The station was opened in 2011 and is located on the LGV Rhin-Rhône connecting railway. The train services are operated by SNCF. It serves the cities of Belfort and Montbéliard and surrounding areas. The station lies 9km south of Belfort and 18km northeast of Montbéliard.

In 2018 there will be a TER service between Belfort and Delle which will call at a new upper level of the station.

Gare de Besançon Franche-Comté TGV

Besançon Franche-Comté TGV is a high speed railway station located in Les Auxons, Doubs, eastern France. The station was opened in 2011 and is located on the LGV Rhin-Rhône and Besançon-Viotte-Vesoul railway connecting railway. The train services are operated by SNCF. It serves the city of Besançon (10 km south) and surrounding areas.

Gare de Dijon-Porte-Neuve

Gare de Dijon-Porte-Neuve is a French train station located at Junot Avenue in Dijon. It is in the Côte-d'Or department, within France's Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region. Gare de Dijon-Porte-Neuve is the secondary station for the city of Dijon, with the primary station being Gare de Dijon-Ville. TER (Transport express régional) trains take six minutes to go from one station to the other, crossing the city. Gare de Dijon-Porte-Neuve is an SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français) train station, served by Burgundy TER trains and open for cargo transport.

Gare de Strasbourg-Ville

Strasbourg-Ville is the main railway station in the city of Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin, France. It is the eastern terminus of the Paris-Est–Strasbourg-Ville railway. The current core building, an example of historicist architecture of the Wilhelminian period, replaced a previous station inaugurated in 1852, later turned into a covered market and ultimately demolished.

High-speed rail in France

The first French high-speed rail line opened in 1981, between Paris's and Lyon's suburbs. It was at that time the only high-speed rail line in Europe. As of July 2017, the French high-speed rail network comprises 2,647 km of Lignes à grande vitesse (LGV), and 670 km are under construction.

Jean-Louis Fousseret

Jean-Louis Fousseret (born 23 December 1946) is a French politician. A member of La République En Marche!, Fousseret was Governor of the Canton of Besançon-Planoise from 1988 to 2001 and a Member of Parliament of the district of Doubs from 1997 to 2002. He has been mayor of Besançon since 2001.


LGV may stand for:

Gregor Virant's Civic List, a political party in Slovenia

Large goods vehicle in Europe

Light goods vehicle in Hong Kong

Lymphogranuloma venereum, a sexually transmitted disease

Lignes à Grande Vitesse, French high-speed rail lines:

LGV Atlantique


LGV Interconnexion Est

LGV Nord

LGV Méditerranée

LGV Picardie

LGV Rhône-Alpes

LGV Rhin-Rhône

LGV Sud-Est

LGV Sud Europe Atlantique

Laser Guided Vehicle

Lattitude Global Volunteering, a British charity — volunteering for young people


Loulans-Verchamp is a commune in the Haute-Saône department in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in eastern France.


The TGV Duplex is a French high-speed train of the TGV family, manufactured by Alstom, and operated by the French national railway company SNCF. It is unique among TGV trains in that it features bi-level carriages. The Duplex inaugurated the third generation of TGV trainsets. It was specially designed to increase capacity on high-speed lines with saturated traffic. With two seating levels and a seating capacity of 508 passengers, the Duplex increases the passenger capacity. While the TGV Duplex started as a small component of the TGV fleet, it has become one of the system's workhorses.


The TGV POS is a TGV train built by French manufacturer Alstom which is operated by the French national rail company, the SNCF, in France's high-speed rail lines. It was originally ordered by the SNCF for use on the new LGV Est, which was put into service in 2007. "POS" stands for Paris-Ostfrankreich-Süddeutschland (German for "Paris, Eastern France, Southern Germany").

Société d'études techniques et économiques

Setec is the fifth most important French engineering and consulting group, involved in infrastructure and transport systems, planning, economics, waste, project, telecommunication, water, energy, geotechnical and environmental management. Setec was created in 1957 as an acronym of the French Société d'Études Techniques et ÉConomiques, which means "technical and economical design company".

Its headquarters are located in Paris, near the Seine. From the 1960s, the company began to organise into different subsidiaries and to develop its international business. In 2012, it acquired the American MWH's Brazilian subsidiary. This new company is called setec hidrobrasileira.


The TGV (French: Train à Grande Vitesse, "high-speed train") is France's intercity high-speed rail service, operated by the SNCF, the state-owned national rail operator. The SNCF started working on a high-speed rail network in 1966 and later presented the project to President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing who approved it. Originally designed as turbotrains to be powered by gas turbines, TGV prototypes evolved into electric trains with the 1973 oil crisis. In 1976 the SNCF ordered 87 high-speed trains from GEC-Alsthom. Following the inaugural service between Paris and Lyon in 1981 on the LGV Sud-Est (LGV for Ligne à Grande Vitesse; "high-speed line"), the network, centered on Paris, has expanded to connect major cities across France (Marseille, Lille, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Rennes, Montpellier) and in neighbouring countries on a combination of high-speed and conventional lines. The TGV network in France carries about 110 million passengers a year.

Like the Shinkansen in Japan, the TGV has never experienced a fatal accident during its operational history; the onboard security systems are among the world's most advanced. The high-speed tracks, maintained by SNCF Réseau, are also subject to heavy regulation. Confronted with the fact that train drivers would not be able to see signals along the track-side when trains reach full speed, engineers developed the TVM technology, which would later be exported worldwide. It allows for a train engaging in an emergency braking to request within seconds all following trains to reduce their speed; if a driver does not react within 1.5 km (0.93 mi), the system overrides the controls and reduces the train's speed automatically. The TVM safety mechanism enables TGVs using the same line to depart every three minutes.A TGV test train set the world record for the fastest wheeled train, reaching 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph) on 3 April 2007. Conventional TGV services operate up to 320 km/h (200 mph) on the LGV Est, LGV Rhin-Rhône and LGV Méditerranée. In 2007, the world's fastest scheduled rail journey was a start-to-stop average speed of 279.4 km/h (173.6 mph) between the Gare de Champagne-Ardenne and Gare de Lorraine on the LGV Est, not surpassed until the 2013 reported average of 283.7 km/h (176.3 mph) express service on the Shijiazhuang to Zhengzhou segment of China's Shijiazhuang–Wuhan high-speed railway.The TGV was conceived at the same period as other technological projects sponsored by the Government of France, including the Ariane 1 rocket and Concorde supersonic airliner; those funding programmes were known as champion national policies (literal translation: national champion). The commercial success of the first high-speed line led to a rapid development of services to the south (LGV Rhône-Alpes, LGV Méditerranée, LGV Nîmes–Montpellier), west (LGV Atlantique, LGV Bretagne-Pays de la Loire, LGV Sud Europe Atlantique), north (LGV Nord, LGV Interconnexion Est) and east (LGV Rhin-Rhône, LGV Est). Eager to emulate the TGV's success, neighbouring countries Italy, Spain and Germany developed their own high-speed rail services.

The TGV system itself extends to neighbouring countries, either directly (Italy, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany) or through TGV-derivative networks linking France to Switzerland (Lyria), to Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands (Thalys), as well as to the United Kingdom (Eurostar). Several future lines are planned, including extensions within France and to surrounding countries. Cities such as Tours and Le Mans have become part of a "TGV commuter belt" around Paris; the TGV also serves Charles de Gaulle Airport and Lyon–Saint-Exupéry Airport. A visitor attraction in itself, it stops at Disneyland Paris and in tourist cities such as Avignon and Aix-en-Provence as well. Brest, Chambéry, Nice, Toulouse and Biarritz are reachable by TGVs running on a mix of LGVs and modernised lines. In 2007, the SNCF generated profits of €1.1 billion (approximately US$1.75 billion, £875 million) driven largely by higher margins on the TGV network.

TGV Lyria

TGV Lyria is the brand name used for TGV railway lines connecting France and Switzerland. Lyria is also a corporation that runs the service using the staff of SNCF in France and Swiss Federal Railways (SBB CFF FFS) in Switzerland – the staff consists of one French and one Swiss train manager on the whole journey.

Route map

Line from Dijon
from Paris via west branch LGV Rhin-Rhône
to Vallorbe
River Saône
Besançon Franche-Comté TGV
to Besançon-Viotte
Line from Belfort
Belfort - Montbéliard TGV
to Delle
Line to Mulhouse
east branch LGV Rhin-Rhône to Mulhouse
Lines in service
Line under construction
Planned or projected lines
Canceled projects
Rolling stock
International services
Associated high-speed lines
Export trainsets
North America
South America


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