New Montpellier-Perpignan line
Public meetings and RFF decision (SNCF Réseau since 2015) to continue the project
Preliminary studies prior to public utility enquiry
Beginning of public utility enquiry
Two major challenges – travelling more easily in Europe and in the region, and developing economic growth and freight transport
The project for the new Montpellier-Perpignan line will involve the creation of an infrastructure which is:
- designed for both passenger and freight transport (mixed rail line) from Montpellier to Béziers and from Rivesaltes to Perpignan (second segment not yet confirmed)
- dedicated to passenger passenger travel from Béziers to Rivesaltes
In addition, two new railway stations will be created for this project – one to the east of Béziers and the other to the west of Narbonne.
The aim of this project is to support the economic, cultural and tourist development of the areas served through extended transport coverage and faster trains. The new line will also make regional mobility easier thanks to an increased number of TER trains.
Moreover, the new line will contribute to the development of freight traffic as an alternative to road transport along the Nîmes and Montpellier bypass and the Perpignan-Barcelona international segment. Finally, this line will support the creation of a Trans-European network and an extensive and effective high-speed Trans-European and interregional network. The new line will in fact:
- be part of the Mediterranean Arc connecting Spain to Italy
- Allow travellers to reach northern Europe with high-speed trains (via Nîmes and Lyon).
- 155 km of new tracks between Montpellier and Perpignan
- 55 cities and 3 departments crossed by the new line
- €42 million allocated to the financing of preliminary studies and the public utility enquiry
Protecting the environment – understanding and preserving local heritage
RFF is studying the natural physical environments through which the future Montpellier-Perpignan line will run (hydraulics, geology, waterways, plant and animal life, biodiversity, etc. ). The research being undertaken is also focusing on the protection of cultural heritage and human activities. For example, a partnership agreement has been signed with the Regional Federation of Hunters, which is involved in protecting and managing wildlife.
In addition, the project has been designed to meet the objectives of the Grenelle Environmental Agreement for the Languedoc-Roussillon region, e.g. reducing energy needs and promoting sustainable economic growth.
Consultation – joint reflection at each stage of the project
RFF (SNCF Réseau since 2015) has set up an ongoing consultation process for the Montpellier-Perpignan project. An extensive system has been set up to listen, understand and promote dialogue about the visions of the different parties involved (elected officials, associations, socio-economic players, citizens).
The project to build a new line between Montpellier and Perpignan is supported by SNCF Réseau, the State and many local government authorities such as:
- Languedoc-Roussillon region
- Aude and Pyrénées-Orientales departments
- Metropolitan areas of Montpellier, Agde, Béziers, Narbonne, Carcassonne and Perpignan.