Gare Montparnasse, Paris|
southwestern branch: near Tours
western branch: near Le Mans
232 km (144 mi)|
+ 52 km (32 mi) (western branch)
|Number of tracks||Double track|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Electrification||25 kV 50 Hz, Tours bypass 1.5 kV DC|
The LGV Atlantique is a high-speed railway line running from Paris (Gare Montparnasse) to Western France. It opened in 1989-1990. It divides into two parts at Courtalain, one going westward to Le Mans (towards Brittany and Pays de la Loire), the second one going southwestward to Tours (towards Aquitaine). Both branches have been extended, by the LGV Bretagne-Pays de la Loire and the LGV Sud Europe Atlantique.
The line leaves Gare Montparnasse to cross Paris's southern suburbs, partly under the Coulée Verte. This is a tunnel above which footpaths and recreational areas have been created, to reduce the effect of the LGV running through the area. The line at this point follows the route of the former railway line from Paris to Chartres. TGVs coming from the north or southeast of France via the LGV Interconnexion Est join the line at Massy. After the new Massy TGV station, the line passes through the Villejust tunnel and then follows the A10 motorway. Near the Saint-Arnoult toll plaza, the LGV turns south and leaves the motorway. The line then follows the ligne classique from Paris to Vendôme until the junction at Courtalain.
The LGV Atlantique serves the following stations:
1 Le Mans is located on the western branch of the LGV Atlantique.
- 1 January 1983: creation of SNCF new line no. 2 committee
- 25 May 1984: public utility declaration
- 15 February 1985: official beginning of works at Boinville-le-Gaillard
- 1 July 1987: laying of first LGV Atlantique rail at Auneau
- 24 September 1989: line opens from Montrouge to Connerré
- 18 May 1990: TGV world speed record of 515.3 km/h
- 25 September 1990: southwestern branch opens
- 27 December 1990: baby born on a TGV Atlantique train
Extensions to both branches are under construction. The western branch is being augmented by the LGV Bretagne-Pays de la Loire project, promising a reduction of 37 mins between Paris and Rennes. The Southern branch is being augmented by the LGV Sud Europe Atlantique project, promising a reduction of around 50 minutes to Tours and Bordeaux. Both are expected to be in service in 2017.
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