ON JUNE 13 the presidents of French National Railways, Réseau Ferré de France and Aéroports de Paris signed an agreement to develop a high-speed rail link to Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle Airport (RG 4.00 p205). The three companies have set up a Groupement d’Intérêt économique known as CDG-Express, which will be headed by former SNCFOperations Director Thierry Mignauw.

Over the next three years, CDG-Express will develop detailed plans for the link from Gare de l’Est to Roissy-CDG TGV, which is intended to cut journey times to 20min and relieve overcrowding on RER Line B from Gare du Nord. The Fr4bn project envisages using the space at Gare de l’Est vacated by suburban trains now using éole to accommodate an air-rail terminal with full check-in facilities.

Trains would follow the TGV Est corridor to Noisy-le-Sec and then run in tunnel to Aulnay-sous-Bois. Two new tracks would parallel RER Line B to Mitry-Claye, taking the airport service onto TGV Jonction. A dedicated shuttle terminal would be built on the site of the through tracks at Roissy-CDG TGV station, as these see very little use.

The line would be opened in 2006, offering a 15 min interval service. A ticket price of between Fr100 and Fr150 is envisaged, competitive with the current taxi fare, and the partners believe that the project would be self-financing.

Key facts

n Three-year study accord

n Fr4bn project self-financing

n Opening planned in 2006