ON NOVEMBER 30 the French and Spanish governments agreed to shortlist all six bidders who had expressed an interest in the contract to build and operate the proposed cross-border link between Perpignan and Figueres (RG 11.01 p731). The shortlisted consortia now have until March 31 2002 to submit their bids, as the two governments hope to open the new line for high speed, freight and rolling motorway services in 2005.

Among bidders for the new line is the Ferromed consortium which brings together French railway infrastructure authority RFF, its Spanish high speed counterpart GIF and engineering consultancies Ineco and Setec. Expected to cost €714m shared between the two governments, the route will be 45·5 km in length, including an 8·2 km twin-bore tunnel under the Pyrenees.

Traffic in the first year of operations is estimated at 3·5 million passengers and 4·2 million tonnes of freight, as well as 3 million tonnes using the existing crossing. The Ministry of Development has begun public consultation on the Spanish section of the route, running for 20·8 km from Figueres.

TABLE: n Acciona-Sacyr: Acciona, Sacyr, Necso.

n Ferromed: RFF, GIF, Setec, Ineco.

n Grupo Ferrovial-Vinci: Grupo Ferrovial, Vinci, Vinci Construction Grands Projets, Ferrovial Agroman.

n FCC Construcción, Spie, Comsa, Obrascon Huarte Lain, Caja de Ahorros y Monte Piedad de Madrid, CGEA-Connex, CGT-Corporación General de Transporte, Proyectos y Servicios.

n Grupo Dragados-Bouygues Travaux Publics: Grupo Dragados, Bouygues Travaux Publics, DTP Terrassement, DV Construction.

n TP Ferro: Eiffage, ACS Actividades de Construcción y Servicios, Eiffage Construction, Appia, Forclum, ACS Proyectos, Obras y Construcciones, Vias, Cobra, Semi, API, Electren.