LGV Nord

From TrainSpottingWorld, for Rail fans everywhere
LGV Nord

The LGV Nord is a French 333 km-long high speed rail line that connects Paris to the Belgian border and the Channel Tunnel via Lille; it opened in 1993.

With a speed of 300 km/h, the line has appreciably shortened rail journeys between Paris and Lille. Its extensions to the north (Belgium, the Channel Tunnel) and the south (via the LGV Interconnexion Est) have reduced journey times to Great Britain and Benelux and for inter-regional trips between the Nord (Pas de Calais) region and the southeast and southwest of France.

Its route is twinned with the A1 for 130 km. As it is mostly built in flat areas, the maximum incline is 25 meters per kilometer.

Of all French high-speed lines the LGV Nord without a doubt sees the widest variety of high-speed rolling stock: the TGV Sud-Est, TGV Réseau, TGV Atlantique, TGV Duplex, Eurostar, Thalys PBA and PBKA. Traffic is controlled by the Lille rail traffic centre.


The LGV Nord begins at Arnouville-lès-Gonesse, 16.6 km from the Gare du Nord on the Paris-Creil line. At Vémars, the LGV Interconnexion Est joins it via a triangular junction, leading to Charles de Gaulle Airport and Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy; this enables direct trains from London and Amsterdam to Disneyland Paris.

After passing east of the forest of Ermenonville over the viaduc de Verberie, it joins the A1 around Chevrières and accompanies it to the Lille suburbs.

At Ablaincourt-Pressoir (Somme), a new station, Haute-Picardie, is served only by inter-regional TGVs. At Croisilles (Pas-de-Calais), a junction leads to the Agny link towards Arras. The LGV crosses the A1 autoroute at Seclin (Nord).

At Fretin, a triangular junction links the LGV to the Lille-Brussels HSL 1 high-speed line eastwards, crossing the border at Wannehain and joining the conventional network at Lembeek, south of Brussels. From Fretin junction, the LGV joins the conventional network at Lezannes, near Lille. Some TGVs and Eurostars serve Lille-Europe, re-joining the LGV at Lambersart.

The line passes south of Armentières and north of Hazebrouck. At Cassel, a link provides a connection with Dunkirk. The LGV continues west, crossing the A26 autoroute at Zouafques and ends at Calais-Fréthun, at the Eurotunnel terminal. This enables TGV service to Calais and Eurostars through the Channel Tunnel to London.

  • The route was much criticised, particularly by those in the Picardie region. The LGV crosses the region without a stop; Amiens in particular would have liked to have been on the line. The government judged a route via Amiens to be impracticable, as the Lille route demanded a straight line between Paris and Lille in order to give a reasonable Paris-Lille-London journey time. The LGV Barreau Picard project would address this issue by serving Amiens, and would reduce the Paris-London journey time to less than 2 hours.


The LGV Nord serves the following stations:

1 Haute-Picardie station has been nicknamed "Gare des Betteraves" or "Beetroot Station," since it is located in the middle of nowhere. Amiens wanted a station closer to the town centre, stopping at Gare d'Amiens.
2 Arras station is located on a branch of the LGV Nord that splits off after Haute-Picardie station.


  • 29 September 1989: declaration of public utility
  • 2 September 1991: commencement of tracklaying
  • 9 September 1992: catenary in service
  • 20 October 1992: first trials with TGV Atlantique trainset 301
  • 23 May 1993: service commences between Paris and Arras
  • 21 December 1993: TGV 7150 from Valenciennes to Paris, operated by set 511, derailed at 300 km/h (186 mph) at the site of TGV Haute Picardie station (before it was built). Rain had caused a hole to open up under the track; the hole dated from the First World War but had not been detected during construction. The front power car and the front four carriages derailed, but remained aligned with the track. Out of the 200 passengers, one was slightly injured.
  • The line was designed to facilitate European connections. The foreseen opening of the Channel Tunnel made it a project of the utmost urgency, leading to an acceleration of work. It opened in 1993, a year before the tunnel, from Arnouville to Fréthun; the Belgian section followed in 1997.
  • The Lyon-Lille connection by TGV began in 1984, using conventional lines between between the Ile-de-France and Lille.

Journey times and daily train frequency

From Paris



See also

External links

de:LGV Nord fr:LGV Nord pl:LGV Nord