LGV Sud-Est

The LGV Sud-Est (French: Ligne à Grande Vitesse Sud-Est; English: Southeast high-speed line is a French high-speed rail line which links Paris's and Lyon's suburbs. It was France's first high-speed rail line. The inauguration of the first section between Saint-Florentin and Sathonay-Camp by President François Mitterrand on 22 September 1981 marked the beginning of the re-invigoration of French passenger rail service.

This line, subsequently extended southwards by the LGV Rhône-Alpes and LGV Méditerranée and northwards by the LGV Interconnexion Est, has led to the speeding up of journey time between Paris and the southeast quarter of France (Marseille, Montpellier and Nice) and by extension towards Switzerland and Italy, and between the southeast and the north and west of France (and by extension towards the United Kingdom and Belgium). LGV Rhône-Alpes, Sud-Est and Méditerranée when completed, also got given its official nickname, The City To Coast (C2C) Highway.

LGV Sud-Est
LGV Cruzilles Mépillat 10
The LGV Sud-Est in Cruzilles-lès-Mépillat
TerminiCombs-la-Ville, Seine-et-Marne
Sathonay-Camp, Lyon Metropolis
Opened22 September 1981:
25 September 1983:
OwnerSNCF (1981–1997)
RFF (1997–2014)
SNCF (2015–present)
Line length409 km (254 mi)
Number of tracksDouble track
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification25 kV 50 Hz[1]


The line crosses six departments, from north to south:

The TGV system's compatibility with the regular rail network avoided the need for new infrastructure construction to reach existing train stations in the dense urban areas of Paris and Lyon.

The distance from Paris (Gare de Lyon) to Lyon (Part-Dieu) is 425 km (264 mi). The LGV route is 409 km (254 mi) long; by avoiding built-up areas between Paris and Lyon (particularly Dijon) this enables a route 87 km (54 mi) shorter than the regular line—512 km (318 mi). There are no tunnels.

The line includes various connectors to the regular rail network:

These last three are used by service trains or in order to divert passenger trains if needed.

The line runs next to the A5 autoroute for 60 km (37 mi) and the N79 road for 15 km (9.3 mi). For its full length, a 5 m (16 ft) wide area has been reserved for a telecommunication artery.

Line specifics

141-R et TGV Montereau mai 1987
A TGV running on the line on 24 May 1987, in Saint-Germain-Laval, Seine-et-Marne

The line has a surface area of 16 km2 (6.2 sq mi)—in comparison Charles de Gaulle Airport occupies 32 km2 (12 sq mi)—with an average width of 40 m (130 ft). Platforms are 13 m (43 ft) wide, with a space between track centres of 4.2 m (14 ft). The line was designed for a nominal speed of 300 km/h (190 mph), with a minimum radius curve of 4,000 m (13,100 ft)—although seven curves were made to a smaller radius, but no less than 3,200 m or 10,500 ft.

In total, the line comprises 847 km (526 mi) of track. This is formed by UIC 60 (60.3 kg/m [40.5 lb/ft]) rails placed in lengths of 288 m (945 ft), welded in place (with certain segmented sections). The concrete sleepers of 2.41 m (7 ft 11 in) are formed of two blocks of concrete tied together by a metal strut. There are 1660 sleepers per kilometer.

Traction power is supplied by eight EDF substations at 25 kV AC, 50 Hz. The catenary is fed by a "feeder" cable in phase opposition, which is equivalent to a 50 kV supply and reinforces the available power, one trainset being able to draw up to 14 MW.

Signalling draws on high-frequency track circuits, signals being transmitted directly to the driver's console. There are lineside marker boards indicating the limits of each block section, but no signals as such.

The highest point on the line is 489 m (1,604 ft) above sea level, near the town of Liernais, 55.5 km (34.5 mi) north of Gare du Creusot. This is near the range dividing the Seine and Loire river valleys, and not far from the Rhone river valley.


The LGV Sud-Est serves the following stations:

Le-Creusot and Mâcon-Loché are threadbare stations situated away from built-up areas. They have two side platforms and four tracks, with the two central tracks being reserved for through trains, and the side tracks serving stopping trains.


Item Cost, nominal[2]
(in 1984 francs)
Cost, real
(in 2007 euros)
Construction of superstructure and infrastructure 7.85 billion 2.0 billion
Construction of superstructure and infrastructure, with land purchase 8.5 billion 2.15 billion
Rolling stock 5.3 billion 1.35 billion
Total 13.8 billion 3.5 billion

From 1996, the LGV Sud-Est received track renewal at a cost of FRF 2 billion,[2] or about €300 million.


See also


  1. ^ "RFF - Map of electrified railway lines" (PDF).
  2. ^ a b Quid.fr, Autres TGV Archived 2007-12-12 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Perren, Brian (October 1983). "TGV: the completion of a dream". Rail Enthusiast. EMAP National Publications. pp. 35–40. ISSN 0262-561X. OCLC 49957965.

External links

1981 in rail transport

This article lists events related to rail transport that occurred in 1981.

Délégation interministérielle à l'aménagement du territoire et à l'attractivité régionale

The délégation interministérielle à l'aménagement du territoire et à l'attractivité régionale (English: Interministerial Delegation of Land Planning and Regional Attractiveness) or DATAR was a French administration working for the Minister of Territorial Development. It applied decisions taken by the Interministerial Committee of Land Planning and Development (CIADT).

It was created in 1963 by Georges Pompidou's government.In 2009, DATAR handed over its missions to the Commissariat général à l’égalité des territoires (English: General Commission for Equal Territories).

Gare de Lyon-Perrache

Lyon-Perrache (French: gare de Lyon-Perrache) is a large railway station located in the Perrache district, in the 2nd arrondissement of Lyon, France. The station was opened in 1857 and is located on the Paris–Marseille railway, Lyon–Geneva railway and Moret–Lyon railway. The train services are operated by SNCF and include TGV, Intercity and local services.

The station was built in 18 months starting in 1855 by François-Alexis Cendrier for the Chemin de fer de Paris à Lyon. From the beginning it was designed as a central station unifying the lines of the three companies then serving Lyon, which merged to form the Chemins de fer de Paris à Lyon et à la Méditerranée (PLM) as the station was opening. The building was built in classical style and is composed of a double rooftop and a large passenger building.

The station lost its view of the city when an intermodal terminal (combining local public transit and intercity buses) and dual-carriageway highway were built in front of it in the 1970s. Although much modern building has somewhat tarnished the look of the area, the station retains many of its original features:

The station front features the names of towns served by trains departing Lyon-Perrache.

The platforms are covered by two twin iron rooftops.It is the terminus of the LGV Sud-Est line, the high-speed railway line from Paris. It is also served by conventional trains from other parts of France, and is the terminus of line A of the Lyon Metro. It is also the terminus of one of the Lyon tram lines.

Today, however, Perrache is no longer the primary rail station serving Lyon. Instead, the Gare de Lyon-Part-Dieu, constructed in the 1970s in a large planned business district outside the central city, acts as the more popular embarkation point for most high-speed trains, especially to Paris and the north.

Gare de Mâcon Loché TGV

Mâcon Loché TGV is a railway station on the TGV Sud-Est located in the commune of Mâcon, France. The address is 142, Rue de Pouilly-Loché 71000 Mâcon. The station is a few kilometres from the neighbouring town of Loché. The next station southbound is Lyon Part-Dieu and the next northbound station is Gare du Creusot TGV.

Gare de Valence TGV

Gare de Valence TGV (IATA: XHK) is a railway station in Valence, France which offers regular TGV services. The station, located in eastern Valence (Alixan), is about ten kilometres north-east from the town centre, allowing through trains to pass at full speed. With its opening in 2001, the station has considerably shortened travel times for travellers throughout eastern France.

Valence TGV was built for and opened along with the LGV Méditerranée, which extends south from Valence to Marseille. The station is only 1 km south of the end of LGV Rhône-Alpes, which extends north from Valence to Lyon and, via the LGV Sud-Est, on to Paris in 2h11.

Gare du Creusot TGV

The Gare du Creusot TGV is a railway station on the LGV Sud-Est providing TGV high-speed train services to the town of Le Creusot, France. Opened 27 September 1981, the station is located outside the city in the town of Écuisses and is accessible by road.

The station is arranged with two side tracks for stopping trains, and two centre tracks for non-stopping trains to pass at full speed.

The next northbound station on LGV Sud-Est is Paris-Gare de Lyon, the next southbound station is Gare de Mâcon-Loché TGV.

TGV journey times from the station to Paris: 1 hour 20 minutes, Lyon 40 minutes.

55 km north of the station is the highest point on the line at 489m above sealevel, near the town of Liernais. This is near the range dividing the Seine and Loire river valleys, and not far from the Rhone river valley.

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.


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

LGV Interconnexion Est

The LGV Interconnexion Est is a short French high-speed rail line that connects the LGV Nord and LGV Sud-Est through suburbs of Paris. Opened in 1994, it consists of three branches, which begin at Coubert:

west branch: towards Paris and western France, terminating at Valenton

north branch: towards northern France, London and Brussels, joining the LGV Nord at Vémars

south branch: towards southeastern France, joining the LGV Sud-Est at MoisenayThe south and west branches are now shared with the LGV Sud-Est line.

Maximum line-speed throughout is 300km/h (186mph) although nearly all services call at Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 2 TGV and Marne-la-Vallée – Chessy in which speed is gradually reduced to allow trains to stop at each station.

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, 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 Eastern branch, 190 km (120 mi) from Genlis, near Dijon to Lutterbach, near Mulhouse, of which 140 km (87 mi) have been built

The Western branch, crossing Dijon, joining the LGV Sud-Est near Montbard and making the line a connection between Dijon and Paris

The Southern branch, from Dijon to LyonThe construction of the latter two branches and of the second phase of the Eastern branch is currently unfunded.

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.

LGV Rhône-Alpes

The LGV Rhône-Alpes (French: Ligne à Grande Vitesse; English: high-speed line) is a 115 km (71 mi) French high-speed rail line situated in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region which extends the LGV Sud-Est southwards. Opening to service in 1994, this line bypasses the built-up Lyon area towards the east, and in addition serves Gare de Lyon Saint-Exupéry (known until June 2000 as Gare de Satolas TGV). Beyond Valence the line is continued by the LGV Méditerranée.

The line was constructed in two sections, north and south. The first section was opened in time for the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville.

Paris–Marseille railway

The railway from Paris to Marseille is an 862-kilometre long railway line, that connects Paris to the southern port city of Marseille, France via Dijon and Lyon. The railway was opened in several stages between 1847 and 1856, when the final section through Lyon was opened. The opening of the LGV Sud-Est high speed line from Paris to Lyon in 1981, the LGV Rhône-Alpes in 1992 and the LGV Méditerranée in 2001 has decreased its importance for passenger traffic.

Railway speed record

The world record for a conventional wheeled passenger train is held by France's TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse), set in 2007 when it reached 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph) on a 140 km section of track.Japan's experimental maglev train L0 Series achieved 603 km/h (375 mph) on a 42.8 km magnetic levitation track in 2015.

SNCF Class BB 67200

With the opening of the LGV Sud-Est, thirty BB 67000 class locomotives were fitted with cab signalling and radio to operate ballast trains and for use in an emergency on the high speed lines. For the latter purpose they were fitted with a Scharfenberg coupler at one end to enable them to be attached to a TGV rake. Initially the class was based at Nevers. A further 50 locomotives were subsequently converted.


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").


Sathonay-Camp is a commune in the Lyon Metropolis (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region), eastern France. With a population of 4,123 in 2012, it serves as the south terminal of the LGV Sud-Est.


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 Paris-Gare de Lyon
Line to Dijon
17.1 LGV from Marne-la-Vallée
42.7 River Seine (134 m)
44.0 MontereauFlamboin-Gouaix
117.2 Line ParisDijon
Line from Sens
Line to Montbard and Dijon
273.8 Le Creusot TGV
274.6 NeversChagny
334.0 Mâcon-Loché-TGV
Line from Dijon
Line to Lyon
337.5 River Saône (340 m)
from Mâcon
to Bourg-en-Bresse
380.5 LGV Rhône-Alpes to Valence
389.3 from Bourg-en-Bresse
to Lyon Part-Dieu
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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