FRANCE: Infrastructure manager RFF and the Centre region have signed an agreement to fund upgrading of the metre gauge Blanc-Argent line to ensure its long-term future.

Passenger services on the 56 km Salbris - Valençay line are operated for SNCF by Keolis subsidiary Compagnie du Blanc Argent. The December 2 upgrading agreement will see the Centre region provide €8·85m towards the €13·6m modernisation, with RFF allocating €4·5m alongside a local contribution of €0·25m.

The work is scheduled for completion by September, and includes subgrade and structure rehabilitation and track relaying to increase line speeds to 70 km/h. This will use 38 km of second-hand rail from LGV Atlantique.

Setec is managing the project on behalf of RFF, with Egis Rail as prime contractor.

  • SNCF and Transports de Martigny et Régions have signed an agreement for joint management and marketing of the 55 km metre-gauge route from Saint Gervais in France to Martigny in Switzerland. RFF will undertake infrastructure works to accommodate a service of two trains per hour from 2014.