Specialized activities

Renewing track on the La Rochelle to Niort railway line, replacing ballast, track and cross ties using the Fast Track Renewal train

Colas also operates in Railways and other Specialized activities that are complementary to the Road segment. These businesses generated revenue of 2.0 billion euros in 2018, representing 15% of total Group revenue.

01 Specialized activities

Renewing track on the La Rochelle to Niort railway line, replacing ballast, track and cross ties using the Fast Track Renewal train

02 Railways

Upgrading track on the railway between Plouaret and Lannion in Brittany, France
  • Building infrastructures for the Casablanca tramway in Morocco
  • Renewing track on the West Coast Mainline South train line in Great Britain
  • Refurbishing railway track near Modane in the French Alps
  • Repaving roads in southern France



Colas’ railway business is operated via Colas Rail, a Colas company that arose from the merger of Seco-Rail acquired in 2000 and Spie Rail, acquired in 2007, and its subsidiaries. Its main strongholds are in France and in United Kingdom, but the company also works in Belgium, Poland, Romania, Venezuela, Chile, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Italy, Switzerland and Czech Republic . The Railway business generated revenue of 911 million euros in 2018 (7% of total Group revenue). It encompasses the following:

  • construction, replacement and maintenance of rail networks (conventional and high-speed lines, trams and subways), covering both installations and infrastructure, including laying and maintaining tracks,
  • electrification: substations and catenary systems,
  • signaling and safety systems,
  • specific projects: bridge cranes, sidings and tunnels,
  • design and engineering for complex large-scale projects,
  • rail freight activities: the transport of aggregates for Group subsidiaries as well as goods for private customers.

In order to successfully operate in this sector, Colas Rail has at its disposal a vast fleet (locomotives, cars, track laying and maintenance units, high-output track replacement units and other vehicles).

Below are some examples of recently completed projects and projects in progress:

  • construction of the Nîmes-Montpellier high speed rail bypass, construction of overhead lines on the new Brittany-Pays de Loire LGV high speed train line,
  • track renewal and network maintenance as part of long-term contracts in Great Britain
  • construction and/or extension of tramways in the cities of Bordeaux, Lyon, Paris Region, Besançon, Valenciennes, Clermont-Ferrand, Reims , Grenoble, Toulouse, Tours, Le Mans, Marseille in France, Rabat, Casablanca in Morocco
  • extension of line 14 of the Parisian metro, construction of metro line 2 in Los Teques, Venezuela, construction of lines 3 and 6 of the Santiago, Chile metro, extension of line 1 of the Algiers, Algeria metro, extension of line 3 of the Cairo, Egypt metro, line 3 of the Hanoi, Vietnam metro.

03 Waterproofing

  • Facades, roofing at the Quartz 92 shopping center near Paris
  • Waterproofing and wearing course on the Rama IX Bridge in Bangkok, Thailand
  • Installing photovolatic panels and serigraph panels on the the 5th facade of the Tour Sequana near Paris
  • Roofing, cladding, facades at the Confluences museum in Lyon, France
  • Facades, roofing, waterproofing on the Convention Center in southeast France



The Group's Waterproofing business is performed via Smac and its subsidiaries. In 2018, waterproofing generated revenue of 561 million euros (4% of total Group revenue). Waterproofing encompasses the following:

  • production and sales of waterproofing membranes both in France and internationally (in more than 70 countries), as well as sky domes and smoke removal equipment, and the installation and maintenance of servo controls. In 2018, Smac and its subsidiaries produced 22.4 million square meters of waterproofing membrane. 
  • construction work:
    • waterproofing for buildings, civil engineering structures and parking lots
    • building envelopes: roofing, waterproofing, cladding and acoustics, particularly for offices, industrial facilities, theaters, museums, etc. [ex: roofing, waterproofing and cladding for the Musée des Confluences in Lyon, including installation of photovoltaic membranes, Cité du Vin in Bordeaux, Arena in Pays d'Aix (France)]
    • mastic asphalt surfaces: sidewalks, roadways, public squares, pedestrian areas, traffic circles, gutters, bus lanes, etc.

This activity is deployed as follows:

  • in France, via a network of 75 profit centers, 11 mastic asphalt production sites and two waterproofing membrane production sites,
  • internationally, via a waterproofing membrane production site in Saudi Arabia and subsidiaries in countries including United Kingdom, Canada, Morocco, Chili and Peru.

Smac draws on its highly-skilled research and development department and engineering design offices to deliver extremely technical projects in which its expertise is widely recognized.

04 Networks

  • Installing a 53-km section of pipeline in central France
  • Installing pipeline in northern France as part of the GRT Gaz Hauts de France II project
  • Construction of surface infrastructure for the Hauterives underground natural gas storage unit in southeast France
  • Installing 11 km of pipeline and two switching stations in southwest France



The Group's Networks business, which is operated by its subsidiary Spac, acquired in 1993, generated 2017 revenue of 199 million euros (2% of total Group revenue). The business mainly operates in France.

It encompasses the following:

  • installation and maintenance of large- and small-diameter pipes and pipelines for:
    • conveying fluids (oil, gas, water, etc.), including the construction of gas compression stations
    • dry networks (electricity, heating and telecommunications)
  • small-scale civil engineering and industrial services

Spac operates across a broad range of activities covering the construction of energy distribution infrastructure and other infrastructure associated with water and the environment:

  • pipelines: construction and maintenance of high pressure distribution networks (pipelines, compression stations, pipeline equipment, associated civil engineering, under pressure drilling, etc.)
  • gas, electricity and communication networks: construction and maintenance of high, medium and low pressure networks
  • drinking water: construction and maintenance of networks for conveying drinking water from its source to distribution points (i.e., catchment and distribution);
  • drainage: construction and maintenance of sewerage and drainage networks for local authorities
  • maritime engineering: construction and maintenance of structures for port and river developments (quays, dikes, embankments, etc.).

Below are some examples of recently completed projects and projects in progress in France:

  • installing natural gas pipelines for GRTgaz as part of the Midi-Gascogne and Val-de-Saône projects