FRANCE: Transport Minister Frédéric Cuvillier announced on April 30 that he had selected the ‘centre-north’ route option for a 7 km connection between the Paris – Amiens main line and the LGV Interconnexion, the high speed bypass running to the east of the capital.

It is expected that the new link would be used by inter-regional TGV services from Amiens and Creil to destinations such as Strasbourg, Marseille and Bordeaux. It would also enable conventional TER services from the Picardie region to serve Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport at Roissy, which lies at the centre of a major employment area.

Detailed studies for the new route, connections to the existing network and related upgrades are now to be taken forward in preparation for a public enquiry. This will include the production of an environmental impact statement for the project.

With an estimated cost of €306m, the project will be considered by the Mobilité 21 commission brought into being by Cuvillier in October 2012 and charged with selecting which projects within the SNIT national transport infrastructure programme are to be taken forward in the light of current spending constraints. Chaired by MP Philippe Duron, the commission is due to report by June and Cuvillier has said he is confident that it will recognize the benefits of the new link.