LINE C of Toulouse’s embryonic RER opened on September 1 between the dormitory suburb of Colomiers and an interchange with metro Line A at St Cyprien-Arènes, giving a journey time from Colomiers to central Toulouse of less than 30 min.

Line C is the suburban section of SNCF’s Toulouse - Auch route, where a new half-hourly service is supplemented by an hourly train to L’Isle-Jourdain and regional services to Auch. This provides three trains/h at Colomiers, Lardenne and St Cyprien-Arènes, where the stations have been rebuilt. Other new infrastructure includes double track to Colomiers, new signalling and a 500 m section in cutting to replace a level crossing on the busy Route de Lombez. New stations at Les Ramassiers (above), St Martin and Le TOEC serve as yet largely undeveloped suburban areas.

All services are now included in the Toulouse tariff structure, although passengers with single-journey tickets must exchange them at the St Cyprien-Arènes boulangerie for onward travel by bus or metro. Following earlier upgrading of services to Gaillac, the line is a further step in Toulouse’s plans for an RER network. The €32m cost of infrastructure has been shared by the Midi-Pyrenées regional council (k6·5m), which since January 1 2002 has responsibility for organisation of transport within the region, as well as central government, SNCF, RFF and the municipalities of Toulouse and Colomiers.