Organisation name: Région Sud Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
Location: Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur


Promulgated on June 28 2018, the French railway reform enshrines in law the opening of the passenger rail market to competition. Since December 2019, the French regions can allocate franchises for the operation of regional trains by tender. From 2023, this will become a legal requirement. In turn, the high speed network will be opened to competition under open access rules from December 2020.

The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region has positioned itself as a pioneer of market opening in France, having been the first regional authority to confirm that it would open its local passenger rail network to competition. On February 18 2019, the region issued a Prior Information Notice in OJEU (number 2019/S 036-081127). It is now formally launching a call for tenders for two operating concessions.

The first lot to be tendered, the Marseille-Toulon-Nice inter-metropolitan line, represents 10% of the regional trains offer. This operating contract would run for 10 years and has an estimated value of €870m. It will mainly concern the operation of the line, the construction of a new maintenance depot at Nice-Ville, and the procurement of new rolling stock. This package is expected to be awarded in Autumn 2021 ahead of operations starting in summer 2025.

The Azur lot concerns the Les Arcs-Draguignan - Nice - Vintimille / Grasse - Cannes / Nice - Breil - Tende lines and represents 23% of the regional trains offer. The contract would run for 10 years and is valued at an estimated €1·5bn. It will mainly concern the operation of the above lines, the construction of a rolling stock maintenance depot at Nice Saint Roch, and operation of the existing depot at Cannes-La Bocca. This lot will be awarded in the fall of 2021 for start of operation in December 2024.

You will find full details of the tendering process here:

Prospective operators have until April 14th, 4 pm to respond to this consultation indicating their desire to participate in the tendering process.