THREE CONSORTIA have submitted prequalification bids for the public-private partnership to build and operate the TGV Atlantique extension from Tours to Poitiers, Angoulême and Bordeaux.

The 302 km line, which is intended to bring Bordeaux within 2 h of Paris by 2016, is one of the three pilot PPP concessions being developed by Réseau Ferré de France (RG 6.07 p363). Total cost of the project is put at around €5bn, of which €2bn will come from the French government and local authorities.

One group is led by Bougyues and its motorway subsidiary Colas, with Alstom responsible for trackwork and electrification. Eiffage, which is currently working with ACS-Dragados on the Perpignan – Figueres cross-border link, has also submitted a bid, whilst Vinci is seeking to prequalify in conjunction with SNCF’s engineering subsidiary Inexia.

The same three consortia have already been prequalified by RFF for the PPP concession to install GSM-R communications links across 12 000 route-km of the main line rail network, together with a fourth group led by Alcatel-Lucent. The winning bidders for both PPPs are due to be announced in 2008.