French construction company Vinci has completed infrastructure and civil engineering work on the 340km South Europe Atlantic high-speed rail line, taking 38 months.
The Cosea joint-venture (JV), led by Vinci, has been responsible for designing and building the €7.8bn Tours-Bordeaux high-speed link (HSL).
Over the three-year period, the JV has built the 340km rail infrastructure, as well as 24 viaducts and 500 engineering structures.
The JV also includes Eurovia and the VINCI Energy business line, in association with BEC, NGE, TSO, Ineo, Inexia, Arcadis, and Egis Rail.
Vinci chairman and CEO Xavier Huillard said: "The group’s employees, SME and ISE partners, and subcontractors together performed the feat of completing this gigantic earthworks and civil engineering project in three years of works.
"The outsized project was a major challenge in terms of organisation, production and management, employing 8,500 people simultaneously at the height of activity.
"The most visible part of the project is now behind us, as we move on to the second stage of the project focused on railway equipment.
"The success of this second stage is a huge responsibility for Vinci, but it also gives the group a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate, once again, the power of its integrated concession-construction approach and the vitality of the public private partnership concept."
The high-speed rail line, which includes 40km of connections to the conventional rail system, constitutes the largest railway sector public-private partnership (PPP) ever signed in France, and one of Europe’s largest infrastructure projects.
Commercial operation on the high-speed rail line is scheduled to start in July 2017.
The Mesea company, held jointly by shareholders VINCI Concessions (70%) and Inexia (30%), will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the line.