Going green on the Rhine-Rhone TGV line

New stations at Belfort and Besançon meet High Environmental Quality (HEQ) building standards, contributing directly to reduced carbon footprint of the Rhine-Rhone high-speed line.


Environmental responsibility is a key component of SNCF’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, and the new Rhine-Rhone high-speed line is a big step in this direction. All CO2 emissions have been measured, from line construction and operation to train traction and maintenance to station construction and operation. The task assigned to SNCF’s architects was clear: design HEQ certification into the new TGV stations at Besançon Franche-Comté and Belfort-Montbéliard from the outset.


Blending the stations into their setting was one of the architects’ top priorities. Success: the station at Besançon Franche-Comté seems to grow out of the forest, with a stonework exterior and rooftop vegetation, while at Belfort-Montbéliard, a glass façade reveals the blue silhouette of the Vosges Mountains in the distance, and metal and timber echo local traditional crafts. Energy efficiency is even more impressive, with photovoltaic and solar heating panels at both stations. The wood-fired boiler at Besançon runs on local supplies, while Belfort features a cutting-edge geothermal system. Both stations have been certified to the HEQ standard.

Of heating for the new Besançon Franche-Comté TGV station is supplied by a wood-fired boiler.

Of sanitary hot water at the new Belfort-Montbéliard TGV station is heated by rooftop solar panels.

of the 306 trees in the parking area for the Besançon TGV were preserved, as recommended by the National Forestry Office.

A closer look: Rhine-Rhône line