France – Upgrade of the Niort – La Rochelle Rail Line

France – Upgrade of the Niort – La Rochelle Rail Line

SYSTRA is in charge of integrated project management activities on the project won by the COLAS Rail / COLAS / SYSTRA / FONDASOL Joint-Venture to increase operating speeds on the Niort-La Rochelle line.

Section N° 538 000 of France’s national rail network is used by both regional express and high speed trains, yet trains cannot exceed speeds of 140 km/h. This project aims to raise operating speeds for high speed trains to 200 km/h, except for three sections, where speeds will be limited to 160 km/h.

Much engineering work is being undertaken to achieve this: track beds have been renovated in several places, longitudinal drainage systems installed over many kilometres and certain bends have been ironed out. Track and ballast were replaced on a 2.5 km section, tracks raised and overhead contact systems reviewed.

Two new regional express train stations are also due to be built at Aigrefeuille and La Jarrie. They will be equipped with long platforms that conform to European standards and standards for people with reduced mobility.

The project will take 20 months to complete, but most of the engineering work will either be carried out when the line is closed to traffic for a 6-week period in May/June 2016 or at night between January and May 2017.

SYSTRA’s Role

SYSTRA is in charge of integrated project management for the design/construction work. Its activities include:

  • Design studies
  • Interface coordination & management
  • Planning study certificates
  • Works contract delivery
  • Acceptance operation assistance

In addition, SYSTRA is in charge of risk management, scheduling, supervision and coordination and the safety of rail operations during the engineering works. The Group also carried out land acquisition, environmental and rail safety assignments.

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