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Crazy Europeans!

Those darned Frogs! Don’t they know that your fillings will fall out at over 70 mph? Here’s the latest insanity covered by Tribune de Geneve. (The story has a cool graphic)

Paris will be less than three hours away from Geneva by TGV by 2009. After a six-month holdup in securing the financing, work is well under way on the SFr570-million project to improve the French high-speed train link between the two cities. The project, begun in March, involves building a new 65-kilometer rail line between Bellegarde, near the Swiss border, and Bourg-en-Bresse. The new line will reduce by 47 kilometers the length of the current Geneva-Paris route, which jogs south through the mountains via Culoz, cutting travel time by 20 minutes.

Part of the project includes a new SFr39-million train station at Bellegarde, with a new viaduct to be built as part of the infrastructure. The new Haut-Bugey rail link is really an upgrading of the former Carpates railway line, with 10 tunnels running through the mountainous terrain. Financing of the project was dependent on hefty support from the Swiss government, which is kicking in SFr183 million. The financial backing from Switzerland is a fixed sum that will not change if there is a cost overrun. But the contribution, agreed to in 2005, is unusual for a project entirely in France. “It is rare for a foreign country to participate from the outset in a project outside its territory,” noted Olivier Carmelle, an official with SNCF, the French state-owned railway.

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Filed under: International High Speed Rail

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