EIB loan for Nancy-Contrexéville railway

Nancy-Contrexéville railway

The European Investment Bank (EIB) announced the signing of a EUR 90 million loan contract with the concessionaire company Nova 14 for the renovation, operation and maintenance of the 75 km Nancy-Contrexéville railway in Grand Est region, between Pont-Saint-Vincent and Vittel.

The EIB is covering 50% of the cost of the project and the remainder of the needed financing for a total amount of almost EUR 200 million being provided in equal parts by the CIC, La Banque Postale, Caisse d’Epargne Grand Est and Nord LB. The project will be completed in 3 and a half years and also includes a railway maintenance facility for rolling stock located in the municipality of Mirecourt.

The concessionary company Nova 14 is a group made up of the construction group NGE Concessions (50%), the transport operator Transdev (20%) and the Banque des Territoires (Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations group – 30%) in order to carry out work worth EUR 150 million and set up, from January 2028, the operation of the renovated line. The concession agreement was signed in June and entered into force on July 1st, 2024.

The three and a half years of works will consist in particular of track regeneration and renewal of the railway platform, rehabilitation work on the various engineering and hydraulic structures, installation of an automated and centralized signaling system, safety work on level crossings and modernization of the stops.

The work will be carried out by a group of nine local and specialised companies, subsidiaries of the NGE Group and carried out by TSO, the group’s railway subsidiary. Operation and maintenance will be carried out by an operating company 75% owned by Transdev Rail and 25% by NGE Exploitation, in charge of organising the circulation and maintenance of the trains as well as the safety of the line. during the 22-year duration of the concession.

This line serves 12 municipalities for a journey time of 1 hour 10 minutes between Nancy and Contrexéville. At the rate of one round trip per hour on average, the Nancy-Contrexéville service will meet the daily needs of a rural population area while helping to revive the Vittel spa resort. An attendance of 550,000 travellers is expected when the line reopens in late 2027.

“The Grand Est Region has clearly expressed its desire to revive the Nancy-Contrexéville railway and we are proud to have been appointed to support it in this objective of develop sustainable and carbon-free mobility in its territory. We are proud of this project which is the first railway contract that the Grand Est Region has been conceding to a private operator since the opening to competition and the first contract in France operated under a new model, allowing a single service provider to ensure the operation of the rail service and the management of the infrastructure,” Thierry Bodard the President of NGE Concessions said.

While this route only had 4 round trips per day, there will be 14 daily round trips which will connect Nancy to Contrexéville from 2028.

The line has been closed since December 2016 and in June 2024 Franck Leroy, the President of the Grand Est Region, Yves Séjourné, the Mayor of Mirecourt, and Franck Perry, Mayor of Vittel, along with the representatives of the companies, banks officially celebrated the reopening of the line (regional Line 14), several years of efforts to get the line back on track.

“Reopening a line is a reaffirmation of our commitment to the regions, their accessibility and their attractiveness. This relaunch paves the way for the rehabilitation of other lines, with the aim of opening up the entire Grand Est rail network to competition by 2033,” Franck Leroy, President of the Grand Est Region said.

The operating company (75% Transdev Rail, 25% NGE Exploitation) is responsible for the operational management of train movements, maintenance and safety on the Nancy-Contrexéville railway line. This represents 65 permanent local jobs, including 23 train drivers. Around 30 round trips a day will be operated between Nancy, Pont-Saint-Vincent and Contrexéville, with a strong commitment to service levels and, in particular, punctuality.

As a result, from December 12, 2027, Contrexéville will be just one hour and 10 minutes away from the heart of Nancy. It is expected that 30 daily round trips will be made, compared with 6 before the line was closed in 2016. This will include 16 return trips from Nancy to Pont-Saint-Vincent including 14 return trips from Nancy to Contrexéville (which also pass through Pont-Saint-Vincent on the way to Contrexéville and return to Nancy).

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