LGV Bretagne – France’s major new rail line completed
A major new rail line which has just been commissioned was recently completed in a €3 Bn scheme – the LGV Bretagne – Pays De La Loire (BPL) project in France – which links Paris to Renes, reducing the previous travel time by 37 minutes.
The project involved the construction of 214km of new line, with Effiage Rail Express as the special purpose company created to construct and maintain the line, which is operated by the French National Rail Network.
Effiage Rail Express’s deal lasts for 25 years, and included six years of construction followed by 19 years of maintenance. Eiffage fully owns construction company CLERE and operating company OPTERE.
The scheme also included the construction of 11 viaducts (comprising steel beams and in situ concrete slab decks); seven cut and cover structures, crossings over five motorways and 180 roads or railways, as well as the creation of 260 hydraulic or small wildlife crossings and 20 large wildlife corridors.
Eiffage developed a standard design for most of its bridges, allowing for component construction off-site and quicker assembly on-site. For the first time, it used cut-and-cover tunnels made from three-piece pre-cast concrete arches, which halves the cost compared with casting concrete in situ.
A total of 86 standard road overbridges were constructed, using 1700 reinforced concrete girders ranging from 9m to 16m, as well as five standard rail bridges, using 170 reinforced concrete girders ranging from 9m to 24m.
The railway system itself involved the construction of 410 km of tracks, the erection of 8000 catenary masts and 30 GSM towers, as well as the construction of two power stations and two maintenance depots.
The contract commenced in August 2011, with the works being completed in September 2016, and the line commissioned in May 2017.