Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Hollande inaugurates Sud Europe Atlantique high-speed line

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FRENCH president Mr François Hollande attended an inauguration ceremony at Villognon in the southwestern department of Charente on February 28 to mark the official completion of infrastructure on the Sud Europe Atlantique high-speed line from Tours to Bordeaux.

The 302km line, and 39km of connections to the conventional network, were constructed by the Lisea consortium of Vinci (33.4%), Caisee des Dépôts/CDC Infrastructure (25.4%), Sojas (22%), and AXA Private Equity (19.2%) under a €7.8bn 50-year design-build-finance-operate-maintain concession, which was awarded in 2011.

When it opens on July 2, the line will cut Paris - Bordeaux journey times from 3h 14min to 2h 4min. The Paris - Toulouse trip will also be reduced by more than an hour from 5h 25min to 4h 9min.

Alstom is supplying a fleet of 40 TGV Océane double-deck trains for the route, 17 of which will be in service when the line opens. An order for a further 15 trains was approved by the board of SNCF Mobility on February 23 as part of a package to rescue Alstom’s Belfort plant from closure.

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