The 25-year Public-Private Partnership (PPP) deal includes the design, finance, construction, operation, servicing, and maintenance of the 80km mixed-traffic line, which includes 20km of connections to the existing network.
Bouygues' partners in the consortium are Colas, Alstom, Spie Batignolles, and investors Meridiam and Fideppp. Systra, Setec and SGTE will act as engineering consultants.
RFF and the consortium expect to achieve financial closure on the PPP in the first half of this year. Construction is expected to begin late this year and the line will open by 2017.
The Nîmes-Montpelier bypass is a continuation of TGV Méditerranée west from its existing junction with the conventional Avignon - Nîmes line at Manduel and follows the A9 highway to Lattes, where it joins the Montpelier - Narbonne line. The line will be used by international freight as well as passenger trains, and will therefore be equipped with ERTMS Level 2.