Inaugurated on 1 July 2017, the Bretagne-Pays de la Loire high-speed line (LGV-BPL in French), an extension of the Paris-Le Mans line launched in 1989, is the biggest project ever completed by Eiffage. More than €3.3 billion were invested for the LGV’s construction by all the partners, of which close to €3 billion as part of the PPP signed in 2011 between SNCF Réseau and Eiffage Rail Express (ERE), the Group’s dedicated subsidiary. In return, the State will pay ERE rents until 2036.
An exceptional project: 182 km of new line, 240 engineering structures including 11 viaducts, eight junctions to the existing lines (32 extra kilometres), two track maintenance centres. In order to complete the project, Eiffage set up a dedicated subsidiary, ERE, thus creating a fully-fledged rail business line. Harnessing all the Group’s divisions, with as many as 4,500 people worked at the site during the busiest period, the period was concentrated in just five years.
With 218 hectares of woodland replanted, 477 hectares of habitat recreated, 275 structures built to allow animals to easily cross the line, and 27 corridors specially designed for large animals to cross, the LGV BPL project is exemplary in terms of environmental protection.
It is also exemplary from a cultural standpoint: funded by ERE, preventive archaeological digs led to the opening of 45 sites between 2011 and 2013, leading to the discovery of a 40,000 to 50,000 year old flint deposit in Mayenne, as well as old iron mines north of Le Mans.
This was a first: Eiffage also ensured the track maintenance, through its subsidiary Opere (operator of the Eiffage Rail Express line). A subsidiary with around 100 highly specialised people, responsible for the maintenance of off-track rail equipment (power supply, signalling, etc.), of the tracks, engineering structures, basins and areas inside the fences. Opere also has high-tech equipment, notably two trains equipped with aerial work platforms. An investment of several million euros, marking the birth of a new business line for the Group.
With the completion of the LGV BPL, rail has become a full-fledged business for Eiffage. The know-how we have acquired will enable us to participate even more effectively in large rail modernisation and upgrade programmes