Chartres-Courtalain line: after the reopening, the inauguration!

Chartres-Courtalain line: after the reopening, the inauguration!
Chartres-Courtalain line: after the reopening, the inauguration!

After eight months of modernization work, the Chartres-Courtalain line was reopened to travelers at the end of March. To celebrate this event, an inauguration day took place on April 20 in the company of many elected officials from the Region. Back to the operation.

A new life for the Chartres-Courtalain line

It was announced in the Rémi news in 2024: on April 20, the inauguration of the reopening of the Chartres-Courtalain line took place. For this occasion, the territory’s elected officials boarded a special Charters train to Brou. During the trip, actors in costume offered several readings of Marcel Proust in a belle époque atmosphere. A tribute to the famous writer who himself took this line to reach his Aunt Léonie’s house, in Illiers-Combray.
And it’s not the only one: the Chartres-Courtalain line welcomes many employees, middle and high school students, but also cereal workers on a daily basis. Each year, 240 freight trains transport more than 280,000 tonnes of goods on its rails. Inaugurated for the first time in 1976, the line therefore needed a real facelift.

Promise kept: in total, 50 km of rails, 18 km of tracks (rails, sleepers, ballast), 4 structures, 3 switches and 18 level crossings were renewed. This operation allows:

  • to ensure the sustainability of the line for 15 years;
  • trains to travel at a speed of up to 100 km/h (compared to 40 km/h without the works);
  • to confirm the number of trains that can run daily on the line without changing the operating system;
  • to maintain load capacity for freight customers.

This is the last of the 5 fine service lines in the Region to be renovated.

Discover the inauguration of the line in video:

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Small railway lines: the Region committed to rural areas

To save the Chartres-Courtalain line, 51 million euros were needed. They were financed 60% by the Centre-Val de Loire Region, 31.5% by the State and 8.5% by SNCF Réseau. One of the objectives of this operation? Make rural areas ever more accessible by continuing to invest in small lines.

According to the president of the Region François Bonneau :

“In Centre-Val de Loire, safeguarding the local rail network has been a long-standing priority. The only region in mainland France not to have closed any lines for 30 years, it is also in Centre-Val de Loire that the first protocol to safeguard local lines was signed, allowing €250M of work to be carried out to avoid closures and guarantee the future of rural areas. The Chartres-Courtalain line is emblematic of this proactive policy (….) because it responds to the mobility challenges and needs of both rural and peri-urban areas. »

This operation also constitutes a further step towards carbon-free mobility. As evidence Sophie Brocas, regional prefect :

“This regeneration of the Chartres-Courtalain railway line is essential to the dynamism and mobility in the Eurelian territory (…) but not only. It contributes to achieving the objectives of decarbonization of transport and ecological planning. Indeed, the railway makes a cardinal contribution to these essential issues in the fight against climate change. “.

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