Image: ECR

Rail bypass of railway hub Lyon to be upgraded

The French infrastructure manager SNCF Réseau is assessing the upgrade of the railway bypass of Lyon, the most important cargo and passenger hub in France being crossed by 1,200 trains daily. The bypass is saturated and SNCF wants to expand its capacity. The company is in talks with different stakeholders to realise the plans.

SNCF Réseau wants to expand different trains stations in Part-Dieu (main business district in Lyon) and the rail tracks between Saint-Clair and Guillotiere. In doing so, it will improve the rail freight line between Marseilles and Lyon and several passenger services between Paris and the area of Alps.

30 years

The project is budgeted at around 1.5 billion Euros. The main goal being to provide sufficient rail capacity for the next 30 years. During this timeframe, the population of the area of Lyon is expected to increase by around 1 million people.

In addition, a huge surge in railway traffic is expected when the tunnel to link Lyon and Turin is complete. All these projects are expected to be realised in 30 years. SNCF Réseau wants to conclude the extension of the rail bypass before this time.

Needed upgrade

The upgrade works are on the agenda since 2000 but they have not been developed yet due to the opposition of local governments in the area. However, SNCF Réseau has explained these civil works must start because train services have a punctuality level of around 80 per cent (arrival on time), 10 points down from the national average. This level difference is expected to increase in the mid-term in case these engineering works are not developed.

Author: Jose Gutierrez

Jose Gutierrez is RailFreight's correspondent in Spain.

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