It’s the end of the break for high speed! By inaugurating the Paris-Rennes high-speed line in July 2017, Emmanuel Macron announced that “ the dream of the next five years should not (should) be a new big project like this. On the contrary, priority should be given to everyday transport.
→ READ. 40 years of the TGV: how the high-speed train changed France
This September 17, the speech has changed. The 2020s must “ represent a new decade for the TGV »Declared the President of the Republic, on the occasion of the 40 years of the TGV in France. Emmanuel Macron wants this ” story of a French passion and a French genius ” continues with investments “ massive. “
The president first recalled that the government has pledged to invest 6.5 billion euros in the construction of three new lines. The Bordeaux-Toulouse LGV alone would mobilize more than 4, the rest being shared between Marseille-Nice and the first section (to Béziers) of the Montpellier-Perpignan line. These sums represent between 40 to 50% of the total costs, with local authorities and Europe financing the rest.
But Emmanuel Macron also mentioned other rail projects, starting with the Roissy-Picardie bar (which would link Amiens, his birthplace, to Roissy airport and then to the rest of the TGV network), not to mention Paris-Normandy (towards Le Havre via Rouen) or Lyon-Turin. According to observers, the first two lines are not necessarily high-speed line projects. According to an SNCF official, all the projects could materialize by 2035.
12 new trainsets per year instead of 9
The President of the Republic has also announced that two tax taxes weighing on the activity of high speed in order to finance certain Intercity trains would disappear in 2023. According to an internal source, this corresponds to a reduction of 200 million euros per year for the railway company. Enough to allow the SNCF to speed up the purchase of TGV trainsets of the future (1).
SNCF has ordered 100 trainsets of this eighth generation TGV from the manufacturer Alstom, which consume less energy and are capable of carrying more passengers. The delivery should be staggered between 2024 and 2031. Struck by the Covid crisis, the SNCF had decided to extend the duration of the purchase by buying only 9 trainsets per year instead of 12. The tax gift should make it possible to revert to the original deadlines.
Pledges for local elected officials?
This relaunch of the TGV does not mark, according to the Head of State, the abandonment of the classic network and attention to everyday trains. On the contrary, Emmanuel Macron explained that the 2018 rail reform law had precisely guaranteed the railway track renovation program, leaving room for the possibility of a new future for high speed.
On the sidelines of the speeches, the leaders of the SNCF qualified these announcements ” great news », Saying they are confident in the TGV rebound after the crisis. According to the general manager of SNCF Voyages, Alain Krakovitch, TGV ridership this summer fell only 9% compared to 2019, which was a record year. And back to school seems to bring ” encouraging signs For the return of business travelers.
” Be careful though to the effects of announcements in the middle of the pre-election period, nuance a good connoisseur of the railway sector. We seem to give pledges to many local elected officials but 2035 is far away. And some projects like Marseille-Nice or Paris-Normandy are less real new lines than short sections around the main stations on the route.Which also makes sense since it will improve traffic conditions for all types of trains.. “