SNCF has reinstated passenger services over a section of the orbital Grande Ceinture belt line round the west of Paris.

The €91m project was completed at the end of last year, with trains entering commercial service with the timetable change in mid-December.

The 9·8 km route runs from Saint-Germain-Grande-Ceinture to Saint-Germain-Bel-Air, Mareil-Marly, Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche and Noisy-le-Roi. Connection is made at Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche (right) with suburban trains serving La Défense and Paris St-Lazare.

The line has been completely rebuilt, including reconstruction of a viaduct at Saint-Nom and electrification at 25 kV 50Hz. Services are operated by a fleet of refurbished Class Z6400 four-car EMUs.

Nearly €79m of the funding was provided by the Ile-de-France Region, 80% in the form of a grant and 20% as a loan to SNCF and RFF. The remaining €12m came from the département of Yvelines. Photos:Jean-Paul Masse