Work on a high-speed direct rail link between Paris and Toulouse is to start in 2024, five years ahead of schedule.
Currently, travel between the two cities on the high-speed TGV service means passing through Bordeaux, bringing the total journey time to four-and-a-half hours.
The new link will cut journey times by 90 minutes to three hours.
The government is pumping €4.1billion into the project which was first discussed in the 1980s, according to France 2.
“Toulouse is the last big French city that isn’t served by the direct TGV [to Paris],” said Gilles Dansart, rail transport specialist and editor of mobility news website Mobilettre, describing the project as a 'missing link' in the country's rail network.
The extent of the current TGV network in France can be seen on this map from SNCF
The plans have been met with approval in the southwest city. One rail user told the broadcaster “with the comfort of the train, being able to take it after work to arrive in Paris within three hours before 8pm we can join friends when the bars and restaurants open!”