PLANS to develop an orbital rail link south of Paris have moved a step closer following a decision by the Conseil Général de l’Essonne to contribute Fr500m towards the scheme. Completion of the first phase is envisaged for 2006, with traffic estimated at 28 million passengers/year..

Costed at Fr5·4bn, plus Fr800m for rolling stock, the 48 km Tangentielle Sud will connect Versailles, Massy-Palaiseau, Epinay-sur-Orge, Evry-Courcouronnes and Corbeil-Essonnes. It will incorporate parts of RER Lines C and D with other routes upgraded to form a high-capacity corridor. In the longer term the route could be extended west to St Quentin-en-Yvelines and south to Sénart.