FRANCE: The RC2 consortium of TSO, Mobility, ETF and Setec Ferroviaire has selected Bergamo-based Tesmec Group to develop and supply a fleet of high-performance on-track machines for the replacement of overhead line equipment on Paris RER Line C.

Under a €277m design-build contract awarded by infrastructure manager SNCF Réseau in February 2017, RC2 is responsible for replacing the 1·5 kV DC OLE on a 30 km section of Line C between Paris Austerlitz and Bretigny sur Orge, which is now more than 75 years old and becoming increasingly unreliable and expensive to maintain. Work is due to start in January 2020 for completion by the end of 2023, without any significant disruption to train services.

To be undertaken in overnight possessions, the project is due to see the replacement of all existing masts, cantilevers and wiring. As the line has between four to eight tracks, this will require the replacement of 180 track-km of catenary in total. The route will be re-electrified using the CSRR (Catenaire Simple Renforcée Regularisée) design suitable for a maximum speed of 160 km/h, which SNCF Réseau intends to adopt as standard for all future 1·5 kV DC renewals.

Under the €14·5m contract awarded at the end of July, Tesmec Service will work with the RC2 technical team to define the working methodology and design the nine vehicles to undertake the wire replacement element of the programme. The intention is that the fleet will be able to rewire 1·4 track-km in a single overnight shift.

Tesmec will supply two vehicles with wiring recovery reels to remove the old overhead lines, one with a stringing system to run out the new catenary and contact wires; two with wire supports and working platforms for attaching the cables to the new cantilevers; one vehicle equipped with a stringing system for bespoke installation work including junctions, one for the cable fixing process and two with scissor lift platforms for dropper installation.

RC2 plans to deploy a separate fleet of machines to install around 600 new masts ahead of the rewiring campaign and then remove the old infrastructure.