The contract award was announced on January 13 following extraordinary meetings of the board of directors of RATP and SNCF Voyageurs. The Bombardier-CAF consortium was originally selected by regional transport authority Île-de-France Mobility (IdFM) to supply the fleet of 146 new type MI20 double-deck EMUs on December 10. 

Alstom filed appeals in the judicial and administrative courts of Paris on a number of points, including challenging the addition of a modification to the tender, which requested that bidders provide flexibility for the purchase of trains, in terms of planning and storage. 

The Paris Judicial Court partially suspended the procurement procedure after finding that RATP and SNCF were not entitled to modify parameters for evaluating the price once the procedure was underway. Following the suspension of the modification, the court ordered the two organisations to allow bidders to modify their offer within 15 days before resuming the procurement process. 

However, the appeal filed in the Administrative Court of Paris was rejected on January 13, validating the conformity of the procedure in contradiction with the ruling from the Paris Judicial Court. RATP says the case will now be taken to the Tribunal des Conflits, which will rule on the contradicting decisions.  

“This procedure before the Tribunal des Conflits is not suspensive, allowing the award procedure to continue to its conclusion,” RATP told IRJ. “RATP has implemented the decision of the Paris Judicial Court to avoid any further appeal on this basis, although the Administrative Court considered the procedure conducted by RATP to be perfectly and in all respects in order.” 

RATP and SNCF had previously said they would appeal to the Supreme Court, while at the same time saying they would “immediately implement the court’s decision by partially resuming the procedure to conclude the contract as quickly as possible.” 

The tender was announced in June 2018 to replace RATP’s fleet of MI 79/84 EMUs currently used on Line B. The contract also includes an option for up to 34 additional trains. The trains will carry 25-30% more passengers than the existing single-deck trains and will be operated jointly by French National Railways (SNCF) and RATP. RER Line B transports around 900,000 passengers a day. 

The contract with CAF and Bombardier will be signed following an 11-day statutory period, subject to any possible appeal.  

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