Press release

Track renewal on the Besançon – La Chaux-de-Fonds railway Line in the East of France

Colas Rail (project leader), as part of a consortium with the Colas agency of Pontarlier, Colas Génie Civil, and Legrand, has won a contract to upgrade a section of the French railway line known as Ligne des Horlogers, which connects Besançon, in France, to La Chaux-de-Fonds, in Switzerland. Awarded by SNCF Réseau, the project is worth €22 million (€20 million for Colas Rail).

The consortium will carry out 34km of ballast track renewal, the upgrade of 20 level crossings, 12km of drainage works, the refurbishment of 6 railway structures and the modernisation of the railway signalling over 13km. In total, 70km of railway line between Besançon and the French-Swiss border will be upgraded, with three main work areas located in the cities of L'Hôpital-du-Grosbois, Valdahon and Morteau (Doubs department).

"The Ligne des Horlogers, whose route is located in a mountainous area, will require a specific technical organisation, logistics and renewal method. The works, carried out in complete traffic interruption, will start in March 2021, with delivery scheduled for the end of August 2021," explains François Lambin, Project Manager for Colas Rail.

During this renewal project, 8,800 hours of work will be completed by people taking part in professional insertion programmes. This market specificity represents a major challenge for Colas Rail's recruitment teams, who will have to ensure complementarity between the temporary and permanent staff.

"This approach is fully in line with our CSR commitments as well as our integration policy," explains Fabrice Tumoine, HR Director for France at Colas Rail. "Integration should not be seen as a constraint but rather as an opportunity to balance social and economic performance. With this project, we will offer people who have been out of the workforce the opportunity to reintegrate the job market, while respecting the social clauses specified in our contract, which is a great source of satisfaction for us!”

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