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Renewal works by Suite Rapide at night

Suite Rapide at work in Allier district

In operation, the third GCF - Transalp Renouvellement’s railway site of 2021

The third GCF - Transalp Renouvellement’s Suite Rapide site of 2021 is working in Allier district, along line 750 000 Moret -Lyon for the full renewal of about 40 km of railway in the section between Saint-Germain-des-Fossés and Moulins.

The night works begun on February 22nd and are expected to end in about a month, on April 22nd. Approximately 170 GCF’s and Gefer’s workers are involved, in addition to 30 specialized maintenance operators working in two different teams – engaged in the daily and meticulous tune-up procedures on the super convoys led by Renewal Train P95 and Ballast cCleaner C75-2C.

Along track 2 of the section being worked on, Suite Rapide will analyse and renew the ballast screed, replace the sleepers and, on some segments, also replace the rails. The works are executed from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. with the simultaneous suspension of the railway traffic that runs up to 160 km/hour on the line.

Strict safety measures implemented to eliminate or at least reduce risk factors. Starting from the electric risk: the railway line, fed at 25000 V, is considered a “blue zone” since the catenaries are at least 5 metres from the sliding surface, hence, they should be constantly monitored not only for the high-efficiency trains employed, but also for the road-track vehicles that, like the loaders, feature devices limiting movements in height.

Safety measures for the environment and the health

20201110 GCF SuiteRapide Fons 2

Almost of all the sections being worked on cross environmental safety areas, all machines used, like locomotors and excavators are equipped with anti-pollution kit and the yards where the vehicles are stored at Saincaize-Meauce stations (the main one north) and Gannat (secondary yard) were equipped with anti-pollution mats along the maintenance tracks of the site’s machinery.

Two railway stations will be crossed by Suite Rapide yard. In both, in Bessay and Varennes sur Allier, the works manager elaborated a detailed safety plan aimed at regulating the storage of the equipment used in order to limit any discomforts to passengers and avoid risks, in particular in the access areas to trains.

Moreover, the access methods to the single sections being worked on have been strictly regulated: the railway section that Suite Rapide is renewing runs adjacent to roads on which – due to concomitant road sites – most of the heavy traffic of the area is de-routed.

“The direct and indirect risk factors, which are always numerous – underscores GCF France’s management - and every Suite Rapide site feature a detailed Safety Plan that aims at foreseeing and mitigating the causes of possible accidents and preserve the health of workers and citizens”. Saint-Germain-des-Fossés and Moulins sites, facing the natural reserve of Allier Valley, are exposed to two additional risk factors in addition to the many “usual” ones: the wild fauna that must be constantly monitored to avoid incidents and damages due to the sudden crossing of roads and tracks and, the peculiar risk of the area consisting in the bites of Asian hornets that have a 6 mm long sting and are able to inject large quantities of a powerful poison that, in some cases of allergy, may cause death or compromise the health.

“Attacks of Asian hornets already happened in the construction area. For this reason, the safety procedure foresees that the activities must be immediately suspended if nests are detected in the work area or nearby, and the Fire Department must be notified in order to eliminate the threat”.

Lastly, there is the permanent need to deal with the risks brought by the pandemics by implementing strict measures that regulate work conducts and permanence in the work structures. Moreover, in compliance with the new laws on international travel, all specialized staff residing in Italy regularly undergoes -directly at the hotel – molecular PCR tests with 72 hour validity thanks to the agreement that GCF has stipulated with an analysis laboratory in Nevers. This way, it is possible to guarantee to Italian employees, the possibility to take flights to return home during weekends more easily and conveniently.

2021.03 GCF Suite Rapide C3 1