LGV Méditerranée

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LGV Méditerranée

The LGV Méditerranée is a French high speed railway line of approximately 250 km length, which entered service in June, 2001. Running between Saint-Marcel-lès-Valence and Marseille, it connects the regions of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Languedoc-Roussillon to the LGV Rhône-Alpes, and therefore to Lyon and the north of France. Although construction cost rose to €3.8 billion, the commencement of service on this line has led to a reversal of the respective airplane and train markets; by making Marseille reachable in three hours from Paris (a distance of over 750 km), the train now handles two thirds of all journeys.


The LGV Méditerranée begins at Saint-Marcel-lès-Valence, as the extension of the LGV Rhône-Alpes. The new Gare de Valence TGV lies at the interchange with the regular Valence-Grenoble line, allowing rapid connections towards Valence, Romans-sur-Isère and Grenoble. At Crest, an emergency link is provided to the Briançon-Loriol line. The LGV then approaches the Rhône, rejoining the A7 autoroute at Montélimar. After having crossed the Canal de Donzère-Mondragon, the line connects to the regular network by an emergency link situated between Pierrelatte and Lapalud.

Spanning the Rhône three times (twice at Mornas, once north of Roquemaure), the LGV continues to Angles, where a triangle allows access to the southwest and southeast. The southwest branch is generally thought of as the beginning of the future LGV Languedoc-Roussillon, joining the regular Avignon-Nîmes line 25 km later at Redessan. The southeast branch crosses the Rhône on two parallel viaducts and serves the new Avignon-TGV station. The line then follows the Durance which it crosses at Orgon.

At Ventabren, a 1.73 km viaduct extends across the A8 autoroute, the D10 and the Canal de Provence. The line then dives towards the south, serving the new Aix-en-Provence-TGV station, traverses the 8 km long Tunnel de Marseille and re-joins the regular network at the entry to Marseille.



  • Numerous protests, particularly from the wine growers of the Rhône valley, obliged President Mitterrand to ask for alterations to the route; the original path keeping to the left bank of the river, the final route skirting the river and crossing it four times
  • The nearly 250 km long line has no regularly used connection to the classic network (unless one considers the southwest branch as a connector). Numerous connections had however been proposed:
    • a link at Saint-Marcel-lès-Valence between the LGV (southwards) and the regular line (eastwards), accompanied by the electrification of the Valence-Grenoble line. This would have permitted direct connections between Grenoble and the Mediterranean; instead, passengers travelling between Marseille and Grenoble must change at Valence-TGV. Another link from the LGV (southwards) to the regular line (towards Valence) would have enabled service to Valence central station from the south
    • a link at Roquemaure from the north towards Avignon would not only have enabled service to Avignon central station, but would have enabled faster service for Arles. A link south of Avignon would equally have permitted the linking of Avignon central station with Marseille in 25 minutes
    • the regular use of the existing link at Pierrelatte would have enabled rapid service to Orange from the north, as well as Avignon and Arles, given that no link was created at Roquemaure
    • a link at Orgon with the Avignon-Miramas line via Cavaillon would have enabled service to Salon-de-Provence, Miramas and Istres from the north
  • Montélimar wanted a TGV station
  • Aix-en-Provence wanted its TGV station more eastwards, closer to the town centre.

Journey times

From Paris


See also

External links

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