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October 27, 2011

Final offers in for Montpellier by-pass high-speed PPP project

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FRENCH Rail Network (RFF) says it has received final offers from Bouygues and Vinci for a public-private partnership (PPP) contract to build and maintain an 80km high-speed line to by-pass the Mediterranean cities of Nîmes and Montpellier. RFF plans to select the winner at the beginning of next year. A third company, Eiffage, was originally part of the bidding process.

The project, which will effectively extend TGV Méditerranée beyond Montpellier, comprises a 60km section of high-speed line, from Manduel east of Nîmes to Lattes west of Montpellier, a 10km link on the right bank of the River Rhöne, and 10km of connections to the existing network. There will be two new stations at Manduel to serve Nîmes and Odysseum for Montpellier.

When the project is completed in 2017, the Paris - Montpellier journey time will be cut to 3 hours, a saving of 25 minutes on current TGV timings. It will also release paths on the existing line for more local passenger and freight services.

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