LGV Est

LGV Est

Discussion
Ask a question about 'LGV Est'
Start a new discussion about 'LGV Est'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The LGV Est européenne (often shortened to LGV Est) is an extension to the French high-speed rail
High-speed rail
High-speed rail is a type of passenger rail transport that operates significantly faster than the normal speed of rail traffic. Specific definitions by the European Union include for upgraded track and or faster for new track, whilst in the United States, the U.S...

 network, connecting currently Vaires-sur-Marne
Vaires-sur-Marne
Vaires-sur-Marne is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France.-External links:* * *...

 (near Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

) and Baudrecourt (near Metz
Metz
Metz is a city in the northeast of France located at the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers.Metz is the capital of the Lorraine region and prefecture of the Moselle department. Located near the tripoint along the junction of France, Germany, and Luxembourg, Metz forms a central place...

 and Nancy), and later Vaires-sur-Marne and Vendenheim
Vendenheim
Vendenheim is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France.-References:*...

 (near Strasbourg
Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

). , it is the newest high-speed line in France and still under construction, with 300 km (186.4 mi) of a planned 406 km (252.3 mi) in service. It provides fast service between Paris and the principal cities of eastern France and Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

, and several cities in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. It also enables fast connections between eastern France and French regions already served by TGV, to the southeast, the west and southwest, and to the north, with extensions towards Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

.

Line


The line passes through the French regions of Alsace
Alsace
Alsace is the fifth-smallest of the 27 regions of France in land area , and the smallest in metropolitan France. It is also the seventh-most densely populated region in France and third most densely populated region in metropolitan France, with ca. 220 inhabitants per km²...

, Lorraine
Lorraine (région)
Lorraine is one of the 27 régions of France. The administrative region has two cities of equal importance, Metz and Nancy. Metz is considered to be the official capital since that is where the regional parliament is situated...

, Champagne-Ardenne
Champagne-Ardenne
Champagne-Ardenne is one of the 27 regions of France. It is located in the northeast of the country, bordering Belgium, and consists of four departments: Aube, Ardennes, Haute-Marne, and Marne. The region is famous for its sparkling white wine . Its rivers, most of which flow west, include the...

 and Île-de-France
Île-de-France (région)
Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

. The first 300 km (186.4 mi) section of this new route, linking Vaires-sur-Marne
Vaires-sur-Marne
Vaires-sur-Marne is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France.-External links:* * *...

 near Paris to Baudrecourt in the Moselle, entered service on 10 June 2007. Constructed for speeds up to 350 km/h (217.5 mph), for commercial service it is initially operating at a maximum speed of 320 km/h (198.8 mph), and was the fastest service in the world until the Wuhan–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway
Wuhan–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway
The Wuguang High-Speed Railway , short for Beijing–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway, Wuhan–Guangzhou Section, is a high-speed rail line, operated by China Railway High-speed , connecting Wuhan and Guangzhou , in the People's Republic of China...

 opened in 2009. It is the first line in France to travel at this speed in commercial service, the first to use ERTMS, the new European rail signalling system and the first line also served by German ICE
InterCityExpress
The Intercity-Express or ICE is a system of high-speed trains predominantly running in Germany and neighbouring countries. It is the highest service category offered by DB Fernverkehr and is the flagship of Deutsche Bahn...

 trains.

The project


The construction of the new line has been split into two phases:
  • from Vaires-sur-Marne
    Vaires-sur-Marne
    Vaires-sur-Marne is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France.-External links:* * *...

     (Seine-et-Marne
    Seine-et-Marne
    Seine-et-Marne is a French department, named after the Seine and Marne rivers, and located in the Île-de-France region.- History:Seine-et-Marne is one of the original 83 departments, created on March 4, 1790 during the French Revolution in application of the law of December 22, 1789...

    ) near Paris
    Paris
    Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

     to Baudrecourt (Moselle
    Moselle
    Moselle is a department in the east of France named after the river Moselle.- History :Moselle is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790...

    ), where it joins the conventional Metz
    Metz
    Metz is a city in the northeast of France located at the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers.Metz is the capital of the Lorraine region and prefecture of the Moselle department. Located near the tripoint along the junction of France, Germany, and Luxembourg, Metz forms a central place...

    -Saarbrücken
    Saarbrücken
    Saarbrücken is the capital of the state of Saarland in Germany. The city is situated at the heart of a metropolitan area that borders on the west on Dillingen and to the north-east on Neunkirchen, where most of the people of the Saarland live....

     and Metz
    Metz
    Metz is a city in the northeast of France located at the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers.Metz is the capital of the Lorraine region and prefecture of the Moselle department. Located near the tripoint along the junction of France, Germany, and Luxembourg, Metz forms a central place...

    -Strasbourg
    Strasbourg
    Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

     lines, opened June 2007;
  • from Baudrecourt to Vendenheim
    Vendenheim
    Vendenheim is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France.-References:*...

     (Bas-Rhin
    Bas-Rhin
    Bas-Rhin is a department of France. The name means "Lower Rhine". It is the more populous and densely populated of the two departments of the Alsace region, with 1,079,013 inhabitants in 2006.- History :...

    ) near Strasbourg
    Strasbourg
    Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

    , expected around 2014. Until then, TGV
    TGV
    The TGV is France's high-speed rail service, currently operated by SNCF Voyages, the long-distance rail branch of SNCF, the French national rail operator....

     will run between these two cities via the existing Metz-Strasbourg line at the 160 km/h normal speed for the line. Preparatory work will start in 2009 with main construction beginning in 2011. This is part of a new accelerated time table, made possible by the release of additional funds by the French Government. It is unclear how much the accelerated timetable, announced 4 February 2009, will affect the completion date. It will presumably be earlier than the previous 2014 date mentioned.


On 2 September 2009, infrastructure manager RFF announced the tendering for the second phase. The timetable announced at the same time seems to contradict earlier reports, suggesting as it does, a start of construction in spring 2010 (earlier than the 2011 mentioned before) though a completion in 2016 (at least 2 years later than mentioned before). Financing was finalized 1 September 2009, with a mix of sources ranging from the French and Luxembourgois nation governments, regional governments, the EU and RFF.

Journey times have decreased as follows:
  • Paris–Strasbourg
    Strasbourg
    Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

    : from 4 hours to 2h 20 (first phase) to 1h 50 (second phase)
  • Paris–Reims
    Reims
    Reims , a city in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France, lies east-northeast of Paris. Founded by the Gauls, it became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire....

    : from 1h 35 to 0h 45
  • Paris–Sedan
    Sedan, France
    Sedan is a commune in France, a sub-prefecture of the Ardennes department in northern France.-Geography:The historic centre is built on a peninsula formed by an arc of the Meuse River. It is around from the Belgian border.-History:...

    : from 2h 50 to 2h 00
  • Paris–Charleville-Mézières
    Charleville-Mézières
    Charleville-Mézières is a commune in northern France, capital of the Ardennes department in the Champagne-Ardenne region. Charleville-Mézières is located on the banks of the Meuse River.-History:...

    : from 2h 30 to 1h35
  • Paris–Nancy: from 2h 45 to 1h 30
  • Paris–Metz
    Metz
    Metz is a city in the northeast of France located at the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers.Metz is the capital of the Lorraine region and prefecture of the Moselle department. Located near the tripoint along the junction of France, Germany, and Luxembourg, Metz forms a central place...

    : from 2h 45 to 1h 25
  • Paris–Luxembourg
    Luxembourg
    Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

    : from 3h 55 to 2h 05
  • Luxembourg–Strasbourg: from 2h 10 to 1h 25 (second phase)
  • Paris–Basel
    Basel
    Basel or Basle In the national languages of Switzerland the city is also known as Bâle , Basilea and Basilea is Switzerland's third most populous city with about 166,000 inhabitants. Located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, Basel also has suburbs in France and Germany...

    : from 4h 55 to 3h 20
  • Paris–Zürich
    Zürich
    Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

    : from 5h 50 to 4h 35
  • Paris–Frankfurt
    Frankfurt
    Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

    : from 6h 15 to 3h 50
  • Paris–Stuttgart
    Stuttgart
    Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....

    : from 6h 10 to 3h 40 (first phase) to 3h 10 (second phase)
  • Paris–Saarbrücken
    Saarbrücken
    Saarbrücken is the capital of the state of Saarland in Germany. The city is situated at the heart of a metropolitan area that borders on the west on Dillingen and to the north-east on Neunkirchen, where most of the people of the Saarland live....

    : from 4h 00 to 1h 50


Besides the construction of the LGV the project included:
  • construction of three TGV stations:
    • Champagne-Ardenne TGV near Reims (Bezannes
      Bezannes
      Bezannes is a commune of the Marne department in north-eastern France.The Gare de Champagne-Ardenne TGV train station is located on the territory of the commune....

      )
    • Meuse TGV
      Gare de Meuse TGV
      Meuse TGV is a train station that opened in June 2007 along with the LGV Est, a TGV high-speed rail line from Paris to Strasbourg. It is located in Les Trois-Domaines, about 30 km from Verdun and Bar-le-Duc, France....

      (Trois-Domaines)
    • Lorraine TGV
      Gare de Lorraine TGV
      Lorraine TGV is a new railway station on the LGV Est, a TGV high-speed rail line from Paris to Strasbourg. It is located in Louvigny, between the towns of Metz and Nancy.When built, it was criticized for being too far from any of the towns to be useful...

      (in Louvigny
      Louvigny
      Louvigny is the name or part of the name of several communes in France:*Louvigny, in the Calvados département*Louvigny, in the Moselle département*Louvigny, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques département*Louvigny, in the Sarthe département...

      , near Metz-Nancy-Lorraine Airport
      Metz-Nancy-Lorraine Airport
      Metz-Nancy-Lorraine Airport or Aéroport de Metz-Nancy-Lorraine is an airport serving the Lorraine région of France. It is located in Goin, 16.5 km southeast of Metz, and north of Nancy .It opened to the public on October 28, 1991 and replaced Nancy-Essey and Metz-Frescaty airports...

      )
  • upgrades and improvements to terminal lines and facilities, especially between the Gare de l'Est
    Gare de l'Est
    is one of the six large SNCF termini in Paris. It is in the 10th arrondissement, not far from the Gare du Nord, facing the Boulevard de Strasbourg, part of the north-south axis of Paris created by Baron Haussmann...

     station in Paris and Vaires-sur-Marne and on the Strasbourg
    Strasbourg
    Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

    Kehl
    Kehl
    Kehl is a town in southwestern Germany in the Ortenaukreis, Baden-Württemberg. It is located on the river Rhine, directly opposite the French city of Strasbourg.-History:...

     main line.
  • modernisation of city centre stations
  • electrification of lines through the Vosges valleys to permit seamless TGV running

Construction


Earthworks for the first phase between Vaires and Baudrecourt started in spring 2002. The contractors took three years to complete the earthworks and some 327 pieces of structural work as well as re-establishing communications for people and wildlife. Tracklaying and building the new stations started in 2004.

As the first infrastructure project of its kind to be declared a public utility
Déclaration d'utilité publique
A Déclaration d'utilité publique, or declaration of public utility, is a formal recognition that a proposed project has public benefits. Many large construction projects in France, especially relating to infrastructure, must achieve DUP before work can begin....

 by the Ministry of the Environment, the LGV Est is also the first railway to be financed largely by the French regions and the European Union (EU). The main contractor for the project is RFF (Réseau ferré de France
Réseau Ferré de France
Réseau Ferré de France , , owns and maintains the French national railway network. The trains are operated by SNCF, the national railway company, but due to European Union Directive 91/440, the French government was required to separate train operations from the railway infrastructure.Unlike other...

), the state-owned company responsible for managing the French rail infrastructure.

Civil engineering works were distributed in eight contracts which were awarded after bidding by five companies: SNCF
SNCF
The SNCF , is France's national state-owned railway company. SNCF operates the country's national rail services, including the TGV, France's high-speed rail network...

, ISL
ISL
There are several expansions of the abbreviation ISL:* International Sign Language* Formally,* Informally, ISL can refer to Irish Sign Language* More formally, ISL is the SIL code for Israeli Sign Language...

, Tractebel, Scétauroute and Setec
Setec
Setec Oy is the former Bank of Finland's banknote printer. It was founded in 1885, and in 1991 it was publicized. Currently Setec is owned by the international smart card vendor Gemalto....

. This is the first time there has been competition for the construction of a TGV line since reform of the rail system in 1997 and the involvement of RFF. SNCF Engineering, in partnership with EEG Simecsol succeeded in obtaining four of the contracts (including one for the second phase), this being 50% of the civil engineering project. Moreover, it directed the entire superstructure works project (track, signals
Railway signalling
Railway signalling is a system used to control railway traffic safely, essentially to prevent trains from colliding. Being guided by fixed rails, trains are uniquely susceptible to collision; furthermore, trains cannot stop quickly, and frequently operate at speeds that do not enable them to stop...

 and electrification) under the responsibility of Réseau Ferré de France.

Cost


The total cost is about €4 billion, apportioned as follows:
  • 61% public funds
    • French government
    • 17 local authorities
    • European Union
      European Union
      The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

    • Luxembourg
  • 17% RFF
  • 22% SNCF
    SNCF
    The SNCF , is France's national state-owned railway company. SNCF operates the country's national rail services, including the TGV, France's high-speed rail network...

     (including €800 million for TGV rolling stock)

Controversy


The LGV Est has been a subject of public debate for several reasons:
  • The 2006 commencement of first phase service was pushed back to 10 June 2007.
  • This will be the first LGV construction in which local communities have had to participate financially together with the state government and European Union. The contribution was fixed following a capital structure group discussion of the communities, depending on the time decrease for users in relation to the Île de France. Alsace has therefore had to pay almost €300 million. It is possible that this financial model will continue for the second phase.

Timeline

  • 22 May 1992: French-German La Rochelle
    La Rochelle
    La Rochelle is a city in western France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Charente-Maritime department.The city is connected to the Île de Ré by a bridge completed on 19 May 1988...

     summit; commitment by France and Germany to create a high-speed rail line linking the two countries, comprising a northern branch via Saarbrücken-Mannheim and a southern branch via Strasbourg-Karlsruhe
  • 14 May 1996: declaration of public utility
  • 2001: refurbishment of a number of stations in Germany (for example Kaiserslautern) and launch of infrastructure work in Germany (line upgrading for 200 km/hour on sections of the conventional line between Saarbrücken and Mannheim)
  • 28 January 2002: official beginning of works for first phase between Vaires and Baudrecourt
  • 18 December 2003: government of Jean-Pierre Raffarin
    Jean-Pierre Raffarin
    Jean-Pierre Raffarin is a French conservative politician and senator for Vienne.Jean-Pierre Raffarin served as the Prime Minister of France from 6 May 2002 to 31 May 2005, resigning after France's rejection of the referendum on the European Union draft constitution. However, after Raffarin...

     announces approximately 50 improvement projects, of which eight are for the TGV
    TGV
    The TGV is France's high-speed rail service, currently operated by SNCF Voyages, the long-distance rail branch of SNCF, the French national rail operator....

    , including second phase works due to begin about 2010; additionally, connection of TGV Est with ICE
    InterCityExpress
    The Intercity-Express or ICE is a system of high-speed trains predominantly running in Germany and neighbouring countries. It is the highest service category offered by DB Fernverkehr and is the flagship of Deutsche Bahn...

     to occur between 2007 and 2010
  • 19 October 2004: laying of the first LGV Est rail at Saint-Hilaire-au-Temple
    Saint-Hilaire-au-Temple
    Saint-Hilaire-au-Temple is a commune in the Marne department in north-eastern France.-References:*...

     (Marne) by the transport minister, Gilles de Robien
    Gilles de Robien
    Count Gilles de Robien is a French politician. He is the son of count Jean de Robien and of Éliane Le Mesre de Pas. The Robien are a noble family originating from Brittany....

    ; earthworks are 80% complete and of the 338 structural projects, 290 (of which 14 are viaducts) are complete
  • June 2006: the catenary between Marne and Meuse is powered
  • 31 October 2006: the catenary for the entire length of the line is powered to enable testing
  • 13 November 2006: beginning of technical testing of the central 210 km of the line using specialized trains to check correct track geometry, etc., at speeds up to 320 km/h
  • 25 January 2007: An initial budget of €94 million is allocated to the second phase of the line between Baudrecourt and Strasbourg
  • 30 January 2007: The power is on over the whole length of 300 km.
  • 1 February 2007: The control centre at Pagny-sur-Moselle is opened.
  • 13 February 2007: A new world record for train speed is unofficially set by a TGV during tests on the LGV Est.
  • 3 April 2007: An official new world speed record
    TGV world speed record
    The TGV holds a series of world speed records achieved by SNCF, the French national railway, and its industrial partners...

     for conventional trains of 574.8 km/h is set by a TGV on the LGV Est.
  • 9 June 2007: The inaugural voyage of the LGV Est is completed (see below).
  • 10 June 2007: The LGV Est opens for commercial service.
  • 16 May 2008: First Stop of ICE-MF due to a transformer fire on this route.
  • 29 October 2009: the European Commission announced that LGV Est's second phase has been awarded 76€M, out of total costs of 633.3€M. The Commission stated the funding had been brought forward to accelerate construction due to the economic crisis.
  • June 2010: Construction begins on phase 2

World speed record



A series of high speed trials, named Operation V150, were conducted on the LGV Est prior to its June 2007 opening using a specially modified train. The trials were conducted jointly by SNCF
SNCF
The SNCF , is France's national state-owned railway company. SNCF operates the country's national rail services, including the TGV, France's high-speed rail network...

, TGV builder Alstom
Alstom
Alstom is a large multinational conglomerate which holds interests in the power generation and transport markets. According to the company website, in the years 2010-2011 Alstom had annual sales of over €20.9 billion, and employed more than 85,000 people in 70 countries. Alstom's headquarters are...

, and LGV Est owner Réseau Ferré de France
Réseau Ferré de France
Réseau Ferré de France , , owns and maintains the French national railway network. The trains are operated by SNCF, the national railway company, but due to European Union Directive 91/440, the French government was required to separate train operations from the railway infrastructure.Unlike other...

 between 15 January 2007 and 15 April 2007. Following a series of increasingly high speed runs, the official speed record attempt took place on 3 April 2007. The top speed of 574.8 km/h (159.6 m/s, 357.2 mph) was reached at kilometre point 191 near the village of Le Chemin, between the Meuse and Champagne-Ardenne TGV stations, where the most favourable profile exists.

The 515.3 km/h speed record of 1990 was unofficially broken multiple times during the test campaign that preceded and followed the certified record attempt, the first time on 13 February 2007 with a speed of 554.3 km/h, and the last time on 15 April 2007 with a speed of 542.9 km/h.

Inauguration



On 9 June 2007, the TGV Est made its inaugural voyage, leaving from the Gare de l'Est at 7:36am. Notable passengers included: François Fillon
François Fillon
François Charles Armand Fillon is the Prime Minister of France. He was appointed to that office by President Nicolas Sarkozy on 17 May 2007. He served initially until 13 November 2010 when he resigned from being prime minister before a planned cabinet reshuffle.On 14 November 2010, Sarkozy...

, the French Prime Minister, Alain Juppé
Alain Juppé
Alain Marie Juppé is a French politician currently serving as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He also served as Prime Minister of France from 1995 to 1997 under President Jacques Chirac and the Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs from 2010 to 2011...

, the Minister of Sustainable Development, and the Argentinian Ambassador to France. The Prime Minister hailed this event as "a beautiful symbol of the capacity of our country to innovate when it is united, a symbol of European France, of the knowledge of French businesses, and a symbol that gives confidence in the future." He hailed this achievement as "a union by train between France and its German, Luxembourgish, and Swiss partners, between the European institutions and the [French] capital."

On 10 June 2007, the first phase of the LGV Est opened for commercial service.

See also

  • TGV
    TGV
    The TGV is France's high-speed rail service, currently operated by SNCF Voyages, the long-distance rail branch of SNCF, the French national rail operator....

  • High-speed rail in France
  • Intercity Express

External links


LGV Est : key project steps & construction progress LGV Est webpage LGV Est Tests and preparations Site for the grand opening on 15 March Interior design proposal, Christian Lacroix's having been adopted Special search engine LGV Est Information and Pictures