Tours-Bordeaux South Europe Atlantic high speed railway

Arcadis has secured a contract to design a series of design-build sub-projects from French railway network manager Réseau Ferré de France (RFF) for the Tours-Bordeaux South Europe Atlantic high speed railway line in France.

Under the new contract, Arcadis will manage the group of designers involved in these sub-projects and coordinate the final infrastructure design for two of the 15 geographical segments of the line, including a rail link of 40km.

Arcadis will also manage the design of seven concrete main bridges, handle associated administrative procedures, geotechnical investigations and the execution of drawings approvals.

The company has been involved in the Tours-Bordeaux high speed rail project since the basic design phase. The current deal brings the contract value for Arcadis in the project to €25m.

As part of the deal, Arcadis will also carry out design work for bridge structures along the line.

Arcadis CEO Harrie Noy said the contract is an important next step in one of the largest infrastructure projects in Europe and underlines the importance central governments are giving to the economic contribution of infrastructure development.

"It is also encouraging to see that these public-private partnership projects are gaining interest among investors, providing governments an alternative source of funding and investors with a long term attractive and secure investment opportunity," added Noy.

The total cost of the new South Europe Atlantic High Speed Line is estimated at €7.8bn, which includes €6.2bn of infrastructure works and railway equipment.

The train line will help transport passengers and goods between northern France, northern Europe and the Iberian Peninsula.

The project involves 303km of new track between Tours and Bordeaux, crossing the regions of Centre, Poitou-Charentes and Aquitaine and travelling through six departments, including Indre-et-Loire, Vienne, Deux-Sèvres, Charente, Charente-Maritime and Gironde.

The new high speed route between Tours and Bordeaux consists of about 400 bridges and 17 railway connections and will allow travellers to reach Bordeaux from Paris in just more than two hours compared to the current journey time of three hours.

The new line will allow high-speed TGV trains to travel between Paris and Bordeaux at speeds of about 300 km/h. The line is predicted to transport 19-20 million passengers every year.

The company has also secured a contract from Infrastructure Contractors Consortium (SGI) to design and external control of more than 250 main bridges, as well as the design of two segments of earth and civil works including earthworks, access restoration, hydraulics and environmental work, plus two railway connections for about 60km.

The line is expected be extended down to Toulouse and into Spain by 2020.

Image: The new South Europe Atlantic High Speed Line is estimated to cost €7.8bn, inc luding €6.2bn of infrastructure works and railway equipment. Photo: RFF.