RFF plans to select the winner at the beginning of next year. Eiffage was originally part of the bidding process.
The project, which will 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 Rhône, and 10km of connections to the existing network. There will be new stations at Manduel serving Nîmes and Odysseum for Montpellier.
When the line opens 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 regional passenger and freight services.