A group led by Vinci SA has won a $9.7 billion contract to build and operate 186 miles of high speed rail between the French cities of Tours and Bordeaux. The deal, expected to be signed during the second half of the year, also includes consortium partners Axa SA and Caisse des Depots et Consignations.
The five-year project is expected to commence construction in 2011, according to French National Railways (SNCF). The concession runs to 2060.
Local authorities will finance half of the public/private partnership, while the Vinci-led consortim and French railroad operator Reseau Ferre de France will finance the other half. “It’s one of the biggest PPPs in the world,” said Pierre- Denis Coux, head of the project at Reseau Ferre de France.