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TGV train on Tours-Bordeaux line - photo by Alex Profit / SNCF
(Photo: Alex Profit / SNCF)
06 Jul 2017

British Steel rail brings French cities closer together

This summer saw the official opening of the high speed line between the French cities of Bordeaux and Tours, thanks to 84,000 tonnes of high quality 108m rails from British Steel.

We have supplied rail for the majority of the TGV projects, including the new South-Europe-Atlantique line, the largest public-private partnership contract ever signed in France’s rail sector. At 302km (188 miles) long, the line is one of the world’s largest infrastructure projects in the last decade.

TSO Tours Bordeaux high speed TGV route during construction
Photo: TSO, Tours-Bordeaux line during construction

Trains travelling at 320kph (199mph) are now reducing the journey time from Paris to Bordeaux by 1 hour and 10 minutes to 2 hours and 4 minutes, as well as connecting south-western France with high-speed rail services from northern Europe, including London, Brussels and Amsterdam.

The steel which was manufactured at our plant at Scunthorpe in the UK, before being rolled into rail at our mill in Hayange, north-east France, commenced delivery in summer 2015.

Peter Smith, British Steel Rail Managing Director, said: “This is a prestigious project which we are delighted to have been part of. Our 108m rails will give passengers a smoother ride while reducing maintenance costs for infrastructure owners.

“When the first passengers experienced the new line in July this year, they were able to travel from Paris to Bordeaux in the same time that it took to travel from Paris to Lyon – a fantastic achievement.”

It was also our Hayange plant which supplied rail for the track on which a TGV broke the world train speed record in 2007, when the French train reached a speed of 574.8kph (357mph) between Paris and Strasbourg.

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