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© Pascal LE DOARE


South Europe Atlantic high-speed railway line, Tours-Bordeaux, France

A gigantic earthworks project along a 300 km railway line.

The South Europe Atlantic high-speed line, built in record time (4 years), which began operating in July 2017, reduces journey time between Paris and Bordeaux by nearly an hour. This was Europe’s  largest civil engineering project of the decade and largest-ever railway infrastructure concession contract.

The new line crosses land with highly varied geological and geotechnical features. The linear length of the roadbed, 340 kilometres, includes 38 kilometres of lines connecting the HSL to existing lines and required 70 million cu. metres of earthworks.

A wide variety of engineering structures

The line required the construction of a wide variety of engineering structures along its 302-km length: 400 standard engineering structures, seven cut-and-cover tunnels and 19 viaducts. The techniques used were also varied: composite bridges, piled viaducts, prefabricated bridges comprising a total of 1,340 precast segments and 8,500 linear metres of noise barriers.

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