The Nîmes-Montpellier rail bypass

A mixed line for passengers and freight

The opening of the Nîmes and Montpellier bypass (opened to freight in December 2017 and to passengers in July 2018) has relieved regional traffic congestion and improved circulation in this particularly saturated area. It promotes freight train circulation.

The CNM had led to an improved transport offer and shorter travel times: the journey from Paris to Montpellier now takes 3 hours.

The main project stages

The agreement goes into effect
Beginning of earthworks and civil engineering
Beginning of work on railway equipment
 Trials and tests
Start of commercial service

Employment has been a major concern from the outset 

During the peak of activity in the civil engineering phase, the site had up to 4,500 employees. 14% of the project hours worked were part of professional integration programmes.

Measures to avoid and offset environmental impacts 

From the outset, Oc’Via sought to balance environmental concerns with technical constraints by introducing mitigation and compensation measures in partnership with local environmental authorities to protect flora and fauna along the railway corridor. For example, during the construction phase, artificial homes were created to protect certain species.

An environmental Observatory was created before construction work began and will continue for at least five years after the line opened. It will assess the project’s environmental impact and monitor the implementation and efficacy of mitigation measures.

Do you want to learn more about the Nîmes-Montpellier rail bypass?

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Hervé Le Caignec graduated from École Spéciale des Travaux Publics (TP86) and started his career building and maintaining road infrastructure.

He then oversaw the development and operation of major infrastructure through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) both in France and abroad. He spent 14 years at the VINCI Group, 4 years at SNCF, and 10 years at the Caisse des Dépôts Group. In March 2017, he was named Chairman of LISEA, the concession holder for the Tours-Bordeaux high-speed line.

A graduate of École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, Gilles managed the Île-de-France regional branch for Egis Aménagement (transport and mobility engineering, urban development, etc.). He then served as Managing Director of the European Economic Interest Grouping that manages and operates the Mont Blanc Tunnel for ATMB and the Italian Mont Blanc Tunnel Company (SITMB).

He became the new Managing Director of Oc’Via on 1 May 2019.