From the outset, the designers have sought to route the line so as to protect the natural habitat and minimise impact on the environment and local agriculture without putting performance targets at risk, not least the possibility of speeds of up to 350 km/h.
In line with the Grenelle Environment Forum
The Rhine-Rhone high-speed line is one of the features of the Act (Grenelle 1) published after the Grenelle Environment Forum and will be instrumental in encouraging large volumes of traffic to transfer to rail, primarily from the roads.
Containing the impact on the local population
For those living in the vicinity of the new high-speed line, noise and the water table are major areas of concern. Right from the start of the project, RFF has made systematic allowance for such environmental issues in the interests of local residents and their living conditions. The route alignment has been selected to protect the natural habitat and limit impact on flood plains and natural watersheds.
Protecting the natural landscape and biodiversity
Measures have been and will continue to be taken to foster biodiversity throughout the construction of the line (37 underpasses for animals, artificial lakes, etc). A series of other pro-environment measures for a total price tag of 4.57 million euros have been put in place to fund specific action by individuals, associations or local communities in the interests of the biodiversity and ecological balance of the countryside.
Exploiting the wetlands
A further series of measures targets the wetlands and efforts to re-create and develop 125 hectares of wetland to equivalent quality and quantity standards.
Promoting environmental management
25 people are employed on a full-time basis to ensure compliance with environmental regulations: companies employed on the site have to meet a number of compulsory environmental requirements laid down by RFF.
Innovating: the first comprehensive Carbon Inventory conducted for a high-speed line
For the first time with a railway project of this scale, a carbon inventory has been conducted in association with SNCF and ADEME, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency, at the instigation of Réseau Ferré de France.
The findings of this exercise showed that the Rhine-Rhone high-speed line project will be 'carbon positive' after 12 years of operation. The inventory was also the opportunity to draw up a guide on methods for conducting carbon inventories for railway products.