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LGV Bretagne train line, France

New high-speed railroad in Brittany could not be prevented by local EJOs, that complained about noise pollution, vibration, cracked houses, stress at train passages, disturbed sleep, health risks, homes devaluation. At least compensations were granted.


This project of train line costruction LGV Bretagne, anchored in the European high speed dynamic, was launched in 2012 and is in operation since 2017. The purpose is to significantly improve the service to the touristic regions Brittany and the Pays de la Loire and to improve their accessibility. The high-speed rail road (up to 350km/h) is 182km long and reduces traveling time Paris - Rennes by 37 minutes. The costs of the project were 3 Billion Euros (Chauvot 2017). 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:LGV Bretagne train line, France
State or province:Bretagne, Pays de la Loire
Location of conflict:Le Mans, Sablé-sur-Sarthe, Laval, Rennes
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific commodities:Land
Tourism services
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The estimated cost of the project were between 3.3 and 3.4 billion euros and at the end of the project (in 2017), it was still valued at 3 billion euros (Chauvot 2017). Within the project there are three partners all of which have a share of around one third.

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Project area:2,300
Level of Investment:3 billion euros (for line and for prolongation and modernization of the rails)
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:local population on this rail road
Start of the conflict:27/07/2012
End of the conflict:02/07/2017
Company names or state enterprises:SNCF
Bouygues Travaux Publics from France
Relevant government actors:• Territorial governments of Brittany and others regions concerned
• Government and the Grenelle Environment Forum
International and Finance InstitutionsFrench government from France
Territorial governments
RFF (réseau ferré de France)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Fédération ALTO (Alternative to the new West TGV lines)
French Archaeologist Society
Representation of the interests of residents of the LGV Paris-Rennes, Brittany and Pays de la Loire
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Air pollution
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Other Health impactsNoise pollution, Vibration
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of livelihood, Other socio-economic impacts
Other socio-economic impactscracked houses, devaluation of homes
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Development of alternatives:The thirty associations in the Alto federation (Alternatives to the new TGV West lines) have always advocated for an alternative solution: the renovation of the existing rail roads. This would have coasted 400 million euros, instead of 3 billion and the renovation would have been much quicker than constructing a new rail road (Lautrou 2008).
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The various associations represented by the Fédération ALTO Alto could not prevent this project and the new railroad is operating since July 2017. At least, sustainability was a major criterion for the project developers and environmental impacts were prevented and reduced. In many cases also compensation was granted to the people affected.
Sources & Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[click to view]

Article about mobilization
[click to view]

Interesting article about local EJO opposing the high-speed rail road.
[click to view]

Press Communique of the EJO
[click to view]

Article dealing with the noise pollution and other claims made by the resistance groups of the high-speed rail road
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Petition at dealing with several issues around this high-speed rail road: noise pollution, vibration, cracked houses, stress at train passages, disturbed sleep, health in danger, devaluation of homes, upset daily life
[click to view]

Other documents

federation alto Logo of the resistance group
[click to view]

[click to view]

Manifestation II
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Gabriel Weber (with the help of students), [email protected]
Last update25/01/2018
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