Plans for TGV line dropped

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NICE, France – The United States is not the only country where high speed rail plans have generated controversy. In France, seven years of arguments about the best route for a new TGV line between Marseille and Nice have resulted in the project being abandoned by rail network firm Réseau Ferré de France, the French newspaper Connexion reported. Instead of a new line, the present route will be upgraded to allow higher speeds.

Opposition from vineyard owners had stymied plans for the line. While there will be no 217 mph TGV trains, express trains on new and rebuilt track will average 124 mph to put Nice within one hour of Marseille. Today running time between the two cities is 2 hours 30 minutes. The present route will be widened to three or four tracks, and high speed trains would mix with local traffic. The project would be finished by 2023, at the same projected price of between 18 and 20 billion euros.

Travel time would be cut by increasing speeds and by making the present network perform better. It would mean adding more tracks between Les Arcs and Le Muy, the Huveaune valley east of Marseille, and the Aubagne lowlands. Seven express trains would operate between Marseille and Toulon and nine between Marseille and Nice.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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