FRANCE: A consortium of Systra, Bureau Veritas and Algoe has been awarded a five-year contract to provide Réseau Ferré de France with expertise to ensure the technical compliance of the GSM-R network being rolled out under the €1bn PPP contract signed by the infrastructure manager and Synerail in February.

RFF launched a programme to modernise its radio communications in 2003. This began in eastern France, and by the end of 2009 around 2 700 route-km had been equipped with GSM-R, with uninterrupted transitions at the German border.

RFF subsequently decided to award a PPP contract for national roll-out, and on February 18 the Synerail consortium signed a 15-year contract to install and operate around 2 000 base stations, which will provide GSM-R on another 11 400 km of the core network within five years. The PPP contract came into force on March 24.