Trains ready to roll along reopened line

Originally built back in 1877, but unused since 1980, the 64-km railway line between Nantes and Châteaubriant is about to be completely modernised and primed ready for service.

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The anticipated 3 132 920 commuters per year will benefit from the newly constructed and upgraded line, electrification works, and reopened and/or newly built stations and stops. Cleaner air, with 8 700 fewer tonnes of CO2 per year, and an estimated 38.5% of tram-train users shifting from cars, feature among the many positive impacts.

Electrifying efforts breathe new life into rail

The 64-km line covered by the project runs through the Loire Atlantique Department in France, connecting Nantes to Châteaubriant. Despite being unused for many years, local authorities saw the potential gains to be made from giving it a new lease of life, in terms of the environment and mobility for residents, and so the current project came into being. SNCF, the French national railways company, will operate the service once ready.

The infrastructure plans are such that there will be opportunities for greater intermodality with local tram, bus and coach networks. The construction and upgrade works include replacing the existing track, installing 750 V and 25 kV electrification, safety mechanisms at level crossings, signalling and telecommunications, and improving station access and services at Nantes and other stations and stops. Throughout all the project works, special attention will be paid to making the most of the local landscape.

Response to growing transport demand

The transport needs of local residents will be met with the new line, notably workers, students and the elderly, at the same time providing opportunities for local business development. With companies better connected, employees will be able to commute more easily. In general terms, the tram-train will also increase accessibility to local services, notably in the areas of administration, health and education.

Time is money

In addition to the forecast three million plus annual commuters, the estimated time savings in financial terms is put at €5 486 267 per year. Other economic benefits come in the form of new employment, with 2 920 direct jobs created during the initial construction phase, another 40 over the long term once the line is running regular services.

Draft date

10/10/2011