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The fourth Suite Rapide Suite of 2021 has just been launched in Northern France

Suite Rapide at work in northern France

Great satisfaction for the record performances of Moulins construction site

In Northern France, in Pas-de-Calais district, SNCF French railways, following the plan foreseen by “Suite Rapide” lot 2, began this week the restoration of the railway line 301.000 Arras-Dunkerque. The works, awarded under contract to GCF-Transalp Renouvellement will involve 170 GCF’s and Gefer’s employees and will continue until June.

A section of over 35 km is currently under works for the full replacement of the tracks, along the double-track section between Lens and Béthune, north-west direction and between Lens and Arras, south direction.

A secondary base of the construction site was setup in Lens to store gravel and small vehicles, while the trains and high-production efficiency machines will be stored in the main base of the construction site located in Pont-à-Vendin, ten kilometres north-east of Lens, already used last year by Transalp for a Suite Rapide site. Other parking and maintenance bases for small machines were setup in Arras, Bully and Béthune.

The works, carried out at night, will consist in renewing and fully restoring track 1, from progressive 192+670 to 228+448 and track 2 from progressive 226+553 to 195+715. The railway traffic will be suspended on the line under works; instead, the trains on the high-traffic and double-track Paris-Lille line, which runs for a long section parallel and adjacent to Suite Rapide site, will remain operative.

The renewal train, the powerful GCF’s Matisa P95 will work for 31 nights, 13 in the first phase from Lens to Béthune and 18 nights in the second phase, from Arras to Lens; 30 nights of work are instead foreseen for ballast cleaner Matisa C752C (13 in phase 1 and 17 in phase 2). For both trains, the scheduled work table foresees a route of 923 metres per night.

A rapid travel pace that counts on the use of high-production efficiency machines and, at the same time, teams of workers particularly trained to work together, maximizing the performance in every work phase. Production efficiency, which is a point of strength of GCF-Transalp’s Suite Rapide: the previous Transalp’s construction site, in Moulins, thanks to the efficiency of men and means, was concluded ten days in advance - 3 days gained with regards to restoration works and 7 days gained with regards to renewal works - compared to the schedule. “One of the best Suite Rapide sites in recent years, in terms of performance”, commented Bucur-Malita Mircea, manager of GCF’s works, with great satisfaction and pride.

As the previous one, the new Suite Rapide site in Lens will comply with strict monitoring and risk mitigation measures as the railway line crosses numerous dangerous areas, so called “Seveso sites” that – 7 in Arras district, 4 in Lens and 4 in Béthune – will require utmost caution. Similarly, caution measures are particularly foreseen near the level crossings and stations to avoid any source of risks for road traffic and trains’ passengers.

2021.04.26 GCF Suite Rapide C4 1