1 hour and 53 minutes – that’s roughly how long the train journey from Montpellier to Perpignan on the French Mediterranean coast takes. For some, it’s much too short to enjoy the scenery. However, the fact that no high-speed trains can run at full speed here is increasingly weakening regional traffic. The construction of a new rail line is intended to provide a remedy.
A big plan for the future
The upcoming LNMP (Ligne Nouvelle Montpellier-Perpignan) high-speed rail project promises to revolutionize travel between Paris and Madrid by filling the missing link in the chain of high-speed connections between these two vibrant cities. Consequently, this ambitious project will offer a significant time reduction, with journeys between Montpellier and Béziers cutting travel time by 18 minutes, almost half of the total time-saving benefits offered by the entire project between Montpellier and Perpignan.
As a result, passengers will enjoy an enhanced quality of rail services with faster national and international connections to Spain and a multitude of options for travel. Furthermore, the Montpellier-Béziers route will serve both passenger and cargo transportation, ultimately diminishing inconveniences caused by freight trains passing through densely populated regions along the route.
The LNMP project
The expansion of high-speed railways beyond Perpignan towards Barcelona, as well as in the direction of Montpellier, offers significant benefits to the transportation network in the region. By complementing existing tracks, this extensive infrastructure project aims to enhance the security and reliability of rail traffic, preventing potential issues such as flooding on a single track. Separating high-speed TGV trains from the historical route allows for the promotion of regional TER and freight FRET traffic, which is crucial for economic growth and local connectivity. To minimize the impacts of this expansion, meticulous studies, information dissemination, and consultation processes are necessary, demonstrating a collaborative and well-informed approach to infrastructure development.
The kickoff for speed
The enactment of Decree No. 2023-111 on February 16th, 2023 marks a significant milestone in the development of the first phase of the Montpellier-Perpignan new railway line LNMP between Montpellier and Béziers. The culmination of several years of planning, the decree declares the construction of this new railway line as both in the public interest and urgent.
The significance of the decree cannot be understated as it highlights matters of public importance and urgency. Within this decree, various pressing issues that directly impact the welfare of the general public are addressed, emphasizing the need for immediate and collective action. Additionally, the decree sheds light on innovative solutions and approaches for tackling these urgent concerns that are crucial to maintaining societal stability and progress. As we move forward, it is vital that we continue to recognize and emphasize the importance of addressing such matters swiftly and effectively, which the decree has undoubtedly contributed to achieving.
This groundbreaking project aims to meet the increasing demands for mobility within the Occitanie region by significantly enhancing the availability of daily transportation services. The LNMP will revolutionize the landscape of regional travel connectivity, bringing forth substantial social and economic benefits for the local communities.
When is the project finished?
We still have to be patient for a little while. The first part of the project includes the section between Béziers and Montpellier and will be under construction in 2029. It will be put into operation in 2034-2035, so we still have some time to let our gaze wander dreamily through the landscape on a train ride on this line before we indulge in the speed rush.