A direct line from TGV Bordeaux-London in preparation

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Updated on 08 April 2020

Will British and Bordeaux travellers soon have a direct TGV line between Bordeaux and London? It is a project that would link Bordeaux to the British capital, making it easier for many people to travel. Until now, they had to travel to Paris, or To Lille before taking the Eurostar, or to fly there.

A project towards the opening of Bordeaux internationally

It seems that the project is starting to take shape. Indeed, Eurotunnel (the railway company that manages the Channel Tunnel), Liséa (which uses the LGV Bordeaux-Tours), HS1 (the British high-speed train line), and SNCF-Network, announced via the release of a press release on 15 October, their joint agreement on a feasibility study of the project. To get to London, Bordeaux people usually fly, or pass by Paris by train before taking the Eurostar. A Bordeaux-London line would be a major step forward. It would speed up the interconnectivity of south-westerly residents and London residents.

This direct line would therefore promote the connection between France and Great Britain. In this respect, Paris would no longer be the only city directly connected to London via rail transport. This operation would therefore be very positive for the international development of these two cities. They already welcome a large number of foreign tourists on their territory. It is therefore understandable why it has been possible for the four decision-making and competent bodies to agree on the potential tourism and economic benefits, which are brought about by the creation of this new TGV line.

Bordeaux station: an international multi-transport network of the future

The four rail infrastructure managers have agreed to set up an international link between Bordeaux and London for less than 5 hours. The Gare de Bordeaux Saint-jean has been the subject of much work in recent years. The establishment of the national LGV (with Tours in particular), begins its installations on an international line. Infrastructure work will therefore be under consideration to ensure that border controls are compatible with London St Pancras station. Indeed, the modalities of adaptation of the Gare de Bordeaux Saint-Jean will have to be precisely fixed in order for the station to be equipped with an international terminal (passport control, baggage control) of the same level as found at the Gare du Nord.

In the press release, Philippe Jausserand (Commercial Director of Liséa) said that “the conditions are now in place to imagine a future international rail terminal in Bordeaux”. To support this, he went on to highlight the new LGV that links Tours and Bordeaux: “The LGV between Tours and Bordeaux is the last link in a high-speed route allowing a direct, fast and attractive journey to London” he assures. Major work will therefore be needed to transform the Bordeaux Railway Station. This is in line with the standards in terms of infrastructure and diplomatic security. The current post-Brexit environment raises questions about the conditions for transporting passengers on trains to London.

The four project partners explain that in 2017, “more than one million people travelled by air between London and the Bordeaux region and studies show that up to 20% of customers would choose rail for a service from this distance.”

A major growth opportunity

At present, Britain is leaving the European Union after the people voted in favour of Brexit. Bordeaux, which connects to the rest of the world through the development of its infrastructure, intends to continue this large-scale project. Indeed, the objective is to limit connections to Paris, in order to facilitate the journey of users. The plane is certainly the fastest means of transport, but it is less financially advantageous, especially if the trip is with luggage. In addition, most travellers enjoy the use of the short-distance train.

Indeed, the plane can be faster, but the airports are regularly out of the city center. Although metro, bus or train networks are developing to connect airports to cities, this is still an additional journey time to be accounted for. Stations, on the other hand, are regularly located in the city centre, making it much easier to get around. This is an advantage that makes all the difference for short-stayed, or busy travellers.

By expanding its transport offer to the world, Bordeaux is gradually establishing itself as an international crossroads. Everything is built, designed and optimized to accommodate workers from all over the world, from business districts to coworking spaces. They develop near train stations, airports or in the city centre. This makes it easier for all workers to exercise.


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