LGV Rhin-Rhône

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LGV Rhin-Rhône Branche Est
LGV Rhin-Rhône schema.svg
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)
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
Inaugural train (with pres. Nicolas Sarkozy on board) on the first stretch of the LGV Rhin-Rhône, 8 September 2011, near Genlis.

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.

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]

Eastern branch[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]


  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[edit]