LGV Sud-Est

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LGV Sud-Est

The LGV Sud-Est is a French high-speed passenger rail line, which links Paris and Lyon. The inauguration of the first section between Saint-Florentin (Yonne) and Sathonay (Rhône) on 22 September, 1981 marked the beginning of the re-invigoration of French passenger rail service.

This line, subsequently extended southwards by the LGV Rhône-Alpes and LGV Méditerranée and northwards by the LGV Interconnexion Est, has led to the speeding up of journey times:

  • between Paris and the southeast quarter of France (and by extension towards Switzerland and Italy)
  • between the southeast and the north and west of France (and by extension towards Britain and Belgium)


The line crosses six départements, from north to south:

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

The distance from Paris (Gare de Lyon) to Lyon (Gare de la Part-Dieu) is 425 km. The LGV route is 409 km long; by avoiding built-up areas between Paris and Lyon (particularly Dijon) this enables a route 87 km shorter than the regular line (512 km). 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 and the N79 cross-country road for 15 km. For its full length, a 5 m wide area has been reserved for a telecommunication artery.

Line specifics

The line has a surface area of 16 square kilometres (in comparison Charles de Gaulle International Airport occupies 32 square kilometres), with an average width of 40 m. Platforms are 13 m wide, with a space between track centres of 4.2 m. The line was designed for a nominal speed of 300 km/h, with a minimum radius curve of 4,000 m (although 7 curves were made to a smaller radius, but no less than 3,200 m.)

In total, the line comprises 847 km of track. This is formed by UIC 60 (60.3 kg/m) rails placed in lengths of 288 m, soldered in place (with certain segment exceptions.) The concrete sleepers of 2.41 m 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 markerboards lineside indicating the limits of each block section, but no signals as such.


The LGV Sud-Est serves the following stations:

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


See also

External links

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