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Oc’Via was awarded the private-public partnership concession contract for the Nîmes-Montpellier rail by-pass. Under this agreement signed in June 2012 with SNCF Réseau, Oc’Via is responsible for funding, designing, building and maintaining this new railway line until 2037.

The first combined passenger / freight high speed line

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Designed to handle passenger and freight traffic, the Nîmes-Montpellier rail by-pass is the first mixed traffic high speed line.

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Shorter journey times

Journey times between Paris and Montpellier of less than 3 hours

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Start of commercial operations

October 2017

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Improving regional transport

Faster flowing traffic on the existing line due to the diversion of freight trains and some high speed trains

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A 5-year project

  • 80 km of new track
  • 188 engineering structures including 11 viaducts and 1 cut and cover

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  • Up to 4,500 people worked on the construction phase at peak times
  • 14% of the hours worked on the project were devoted to social inclusion programmes
  • Over 20% of the total cost of the work was carried out by small and medium sized businesses.

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Environmental measures

  • Identifying 126 protected species
  • Reinstating 1,800 hectares of natural habitat, i.e. twice the amount of land occupied by the infrastructure
  • Reducing flooding risks by building most of the line on raised embankments.
  • Testing of new building materials: one structure was built using 20% recycled concrete

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€1.8 billion for the new line, €1.2 billion of which came from the private sector.

Major Project Phases

June 2012

Start of contract

Jul 2012 –end of 2013

Design phase

End 2013

Start of earthworks and civil engineering work

End 2015

Start of work to install railway equipment

Mid 2017


End 2017

Start of commercial service

Respecting the environment: a primary concern

Mitigation and compensatory environmental measures

From the very outset, Oc’Via struck a balance between environmental concerns and technical constraints, introducing mitigation and compensatory measures in partnership with local environmental authorities to protect flora and fauna along the railway corridor. During the construction phase for example, artificial homes were created to protect certain species.

Creation of an environmental Monitoring Unit

Set up before the start of construction work and for a duration stretching up to five years after the commissioning of the line, this Monitoring Unit assesses the impact of the project on the environment and tracks the deployment and efficiency of the mitigation measures.