A HIGH speed rail link between Bordeaux and Toulouse is scheduled to enter services in 2024, after it was approved by the ministry of transport.
The Bordeaux-Toulouse LGV (ligne de grande vitesse) was put on hold in 2012, along with plans for several other lines, over concerns about financing the €5.9bn link.
Once completed, the LGV line would cut the train time between Toulouse and Paris to three hours and 10 minutes, an hour faster than today.
The LGV route between Bordeaux and Tours, currently under construction, will cut the travel time between Bordeaux and Paris to two hours and five minutes when it opens in 2017.
While announcing the Bordeaux-Toulouse project, the government also relaunched plans to create a France-Spain TGV route, with the first stage running from Bordeaux to Dax, due to be completed in 2027 at a cost of €3.2bn.
A further stretch from Dax to the Spanish border, would enter into service around 2032, at a cost of €4.1bn.
The Spanish link has already been attacked by campaigners who say its cost, both financial and environmental, is not borne out by savings in travel times.
The minister of transport Frédéric Cuvillier told Sud Ouest and La Dépêche du Midi newspapers: “It will be the subject of intense study, notably in environmentally sensitive areas.” He said he wanted to be sure the project was “legally secure”.