TGV on the Paris- Lyon line, image: SNCF Réseau

Paris – Lyon high-speed line gets renovated

The TGV Paris-Lyon of SNCF SNCF Réseau

SNCF Réseau is investing more than 300 million euros in the line Paris – Lyon on approximately 160 kilometres of track. It is the most widely used high-speed line in Europe with a third of the TGV traffic in France. In times of high traffic up to 300 TGVs per day run on the rails.

From July to December 2021, the work will be concentrated between Pasilly and Lacour d’Arcenay. In total, 55 kilometres of track will be renewed in this area, with 88,000 sleepers and 50,000 tonnes of ballast replaced. The rails themselves will remain in place.

The modernisation of the track on the Paris-Lyon high-speed line began in 2020 and will be completed in 2023. A first phase of work took place in 2020 between Vergigny and Tonnerre, enabling 40 kilometres of track to be renewed. Two work bases have been set up nearby: they are located in Montbard and Lacour d’Arcenay respectively. 500 SNCF employees and those of the consortium will be mobilised on this large-scale project.

500 metres of track renewed each night

The work is being carried out using a 750-metre long factory train that can weigh up to 2,500 tonnes. This train is made up of a succession of machines that allow the renewal of track components. While the use of conventional means only allows the renewal of 200 metres of track per day, on this site an average of more than 500 metres of track will be replaced each night, and up to 700 metres and up to 700 metres on certain nights thanks to this spectacular train.

This industrial method makes it possible to reduce the overall duration of the work while preserving the performance and safety of passengers during the day.

This project, which involves an average of 500 workers and 10 companies,

Recovery plan

The French government has allocated 4.7 billion of support for the rail sector, which is mainly intended to benefit the rail network. It is part of the ‘France Relance’ recovery plan, which was presented on 3 September 2020. It is a massive 100 billion investment plan representing the equivalent of one third of the annual state budget, with 40 billion euros provided by the European Union.

The rail infrastructure will benefit from 4.1 billion euros. This amount will be used to ensure the regeneration and modernisation of the rail network in order to increase the modal share of rail, as well as develop rail freight transport. As part of the recovery plan, the government is also mobilising 100 million euros to relaunch two new additional night lines. The line Paris – Nice since May, and Paris – Tarbes by the end of 2021.

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Author: Esther Geerts

Former Editor

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