LGV Sud-Est

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LGV Sud-Est
LGV Cruzilles Mépillat 10.jpg
The LGV Sud-Est in Cruzilles-lès-Mépillat
OwnerSNCF (1981–1997)
RFF (1997–2014)
SNCF Réseau (2015–present)
TerminiCombs-la-Ville, Seine-et-Marne
Sathonay-Camp, Lyon Metropolis
Opened22 September 1981:
25 September 1983:
Line length409 km (254 mi)
Number of tracksDouble track
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Electrification25 kV 50 Hz[1]
Operating speed300 km/h (186 mph)
Route map
Line from Paris-Gare de Lyon
Line to Dijon
17.1 LGV from Marne-la-Vallée
42.7 River Seine (134 m)
44.0 MontereauFlamboin-Gouaix
117.2 Line ParisDijon
Line from Sens
Line to Montbard and Dijon
273.8 Le Creusot TGV
274.6 NeversChagny
334.0 Mâcon Loché TGV
Line from Dijon
Line to Lyon
337.5 River Saône (340 m)
from Mâcon
to Bourg-en-Bresse
380.5 LGV Rhône-Alpes to Valence
389.3 from Bourg-en-Bresse
to Lyon Part-Dieu

The LGV Sud-Est (French: Ligne à Grande Vitesse Sud-Est; English: Southeast high-speed line) is a French high-speed rail line which connects the Paris and Lyon areas. It was France's first high-speed rail line. The inauguration of the first section between Saint-Florentin and Sathonay-Camp by President François Mitterrand on 22 September 1981 marked the beginning of the re-invigoration of French passenger rail service.

Other LGV projects have extended the reach of high-speed trains that use this line, including the LGV Rhône-Alpes and LGV Méditerranée to the south and the LGV Interconnexion Est to the north. These connecting lines has led to the speeding up of journey time between Paris and the southeast quarter of France (Marseille, Montpellier and Nice), Switzerland and Italy, as well as between the southeast and the north and west of France, the United Kingdom and Belgium. The LGV Rhône-Alpes, Sud-Est and Méditerranée when completed, also received their nickname, the City To Coast (C2C) Highway ("Ville à la Mer").


The line crosses six departments, from north to south:

The TGV system's compatibility with the regular rail network avoided the need for new infrastructure construction to reach existing train stations in the dense urban areas of Paris and Lyon.

The distance from Paris (Gare de Lyon) to Lyon (Part-Dieu) is 425 km (264 mi). The LGV route is 409 km (254 mi) long; by avoiding built-up areas between Paris and Lyon (particularly Dijon) this enables a route 87 km (54 mi) shorter than the regular line—512 km (318 mi). There are no tunnels.

The line includes various connectors to the regular rail network:

These last three are used by service trains or in order to divert passenger trains if needed.

The line runs next to the A5 autoroute for 60 km (37 mi) and the N79 road for 15 km (9.3 mi). For its full length, a 5 m (16 ft) wide area has been reserved for a telecommunication artery.[citation needed]

Line specifics[edit]

A TGV running on the line on 24 May 1987, in Saint-Germain-Laval, Seine-et-Marne

The line has a surface area of 16 km2 (6.2 sq mi)—in comparison Charles de Gaulle Airport occupies 32 km2 (12 sq mi)—with an average width of 40 m (130 ft). Platforms are 13 m (43 ft) wide, with a space between track centres of 4.2 m (14 ft). The line was designed for a nominal speed of 300 km/h (190 mph), with a minimum radius curve of 4,000 m (13,100 ft)—although seven curves were made to a smaller radius, but no less than 3,200 m or 10,500 ft.

In total, the line comprises 847 km (526 mi) of track. This is formed by UIC 60 (60.3 kg/m [40.5 lb/ft]) rails placed in lengths of 288 m (945 ft), welded in place (with certain segmented sections). The concrete sleepers of 2.41 m (7 ft 11 in) are formed of two blocks of concrete tied together by a metal strut. There are 1660 sleepers per kilometer.

Traction power is supplied by eight EDF substations at 25 kV AC, 50 Hz. The catenary is fed by a "feeder" cable in phase opposition, which is equivalent to a 50 kV supply and reinforces the available power, one trainset being able to draw up to 14 MW.

Signalling draws on high-frequency track circuits, signals being transmitted directly to the driver's console. There are lineside marker boards indicating the limits of each block section, but no signals as such.

The highest point on the line is 489 m (1,604 ft) above sea level, near the town of Liernais, 55.5 km (34.5 mi) north of Gare du Creusot. This is near the range dividing the Seine and Loire river valleys, and not far from the Rhone river valley.


The LGV Sud-Est serves the following stations:

Le-Creusot and Mâcon-Loché are threadbare stations situated away from built-up areas. They have two side platforms and four tracks, with the two central tracks being reserved for through trains, and the side tracks serving stopping trains.


Item Cost, nominal[2]
(in 1984 francs)
Cost, real
(in 2007 euros)
Construction of superstructure and infrastructure 7.85 billion 2.0 billion
Construction of superstructure and infrastructure, with land purchase 8.5 billion 2.15 billion
Rolling stock 5.3 billion 1.35 billion
Total 13.8 billion 3.5 billion

From 1996, the LGV Sud-Est received track renewal at a cost of FRF 2 billion,[2] or about €300 million.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "RFF - Map of electrified railway lines" (PDF).
  2. ^ a b Quid.fr, Autres TGV Archived 2007-12-12 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Perren, Brian (October 1983). "TGV: the completion of a dream". Rail Enthusiast. EMAP National Publications. pp. 35–40. ISSN 0262-561X. OCLC 49957965.

External links[edit]