FRANCE: Secretary of State for Transport Dominique Bussereau has announced the go-ahead for plans to for improve rail services between Paris and Normandie, with €4bn to be invested in the Paris – Caen – Cherbourg route by 2020. A key element is a cut-off between Mantes and Nanterre in the suburbs of Paris which would help reduce the Paris – Caen journey time from 1 h 47 min now to just 90 min; two alignments are being studied.

The announcement was made in Caen earlier this month, following a regional summit on rail services at the end of March. Other proposals arising from the meeting include replacement of rolling stock on the Paris – Caen – Cherbourg route by 2017, and on the Paris – Granville line by 2013. Another major element is a €560m electrification programme covering the routes from Dreux to Argentan and Granville (236 km), Saint Lô to Avranches (76 km), Mézidon to Alençon and Le Mans (143 km), Dol-de-Bretagne to Pontorson (21 km) and Serquigny to Oissel (45 km).