State-owned French rail operator RFF (Reseau Ferre de France) has launched the design studies of the proposed Montpellier-Perpignan rail line.
This follows as a public consultation held on the rail project suggested a 'preferred' corridor in terms of impact on the local landscape and environment.
The line would link the Nîmes–Montpellier bypass at one end and the Perpignan–Figueres line at the other.
The rail line would be designed to operate high-speed passenger services as well as freight traffic.
New stations in Montpellier and Perpignan also form part of the rail project.