Tunnel Euralpin Lyon Turin (TELT) the company responsible for the construction of the international section of the Lyon-Turin railway line will launch tenders totalling EUR 3 billion for the technological equipment of the Mont Cenis base tunnel.
Detailed information regarding the transition management from construction to operation was organised at Train World in Brussels on April 20 where 230 professionals from 86 international companies attended.
The company has signed all the contracts for the entire tunnel in France and the remaining 20% on the Italian side will be awarded soon. TELT says that it has been working for the last two years to define the functional and technical specific features of the railway and non-railway systems of the new freight and passenger line.
The project covers the construction of a 65 km of new line between Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, in France, and Susa, in Italy, including the 57.5 km tunnel “the world’s longest twin-tube base tunnel”, TELT says.
There will be 140 km of tracks and catenary, two control centres at either end of the infrastructure to manage the tunnel systems and the train traffic 24 hours a day, with more than 900 cameras and sensors installed along the entire route. Three independent electrical substations will guarantee the traction supply for the trains.
The project includes five safety areas, three of which are underground, with reception space and their own external air exchange can each accommodate up to 1,200 people.
Ventilation in the tunnel will be provided by five central ventilation units using the four existing access and the four double-flow Avrieux shafts which, in the event of a fire, will enable smoke to be extracted and clean air to be pumped into the safety areas.
The project provides for two rescue trains and six (rail-road) bimodal vehicles to deal with any fires or incidents. The underground areas will be equipped with a misting system connected by heat sensitive FibroLaser cables, which will make it possible to detect the exact location of an eventual fire on a train immediately by transmitting the location to the operator in the control room, who can then activate the misting to extinguish the fire directly on the spot.
To ensure safety throughout the tunnel, there are 180 bypasses between the two tubes – one every 333 m – 360 evacuation gates and eight fire stations equipped with water tanks capable of functioning more than 10 hours.
TELT will be tendering the technical assistance for the project’s operation. The winner will provide engineering support for the design and subsequent installation of the railway and non-railway equipment and its connections with the two existing lines between Lyon and Turin.
Part of the transition from constructor to operator for 99 years, a shadow operator will be also appointed that will work alongside TELT until the commissioning of the work including the organisation and training of teams, the operational management of traffic, safety, assets and their maintenance, the definition of the route commercial strategies and the management of the two international lines and stations.
A maintenance contract will be also awarded which will ensure the efficiency and safety of the new infrastructure once it has been put into service.
In February 2023, SNCF Réseau awarded two contracts totalling EUR 215 million for the construction of the railway interconnection between the existing network and the Mont Cenis base tunnel. A EUR 189.5 million contract was awarded to Eiffage Génie Civil/ Eiffage Infra Linéaires/ Eiffage Rail Group for the construction of new platforms for the new tracks, 15 km of retaining walls, 10 km of noise barriers, infrastructure for the future international station of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, the new viaduct over the river Arvan, several road repairs and hydraulic works for crossing the railway platform. The works which will start in May 2023, are expected to take 9 years.
The second contract worth EUR 24 million includes carrying out studies and works on the tracks and the overhead line was awarded to TSO SAS / TSO Caténaires / OFFROY / SAGES RAIL consortium. The project includes the construction of 26 switches, 11 km of track, the installation of 19,000 sleepers and 52,000 tonnes of ballast. Works on the overhead line includes the installation of 210 supports, 16 km of overhead line, 7 km of overhead protection cables and 23 km of feeder.