EU backs phase two of Rhine-Rhône high-speed line

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The European Union has announced funding for technical, socio-economic and archaeological studies to be carried out for the second phase of the Rhine-Rhône high-speed line in France.

The EU will put forward five million euros to fund the studies, which will tackle the alignment of the rail section, the preparation of tender documents, the identification of the necessary rail equipment as well as analysing the socio-economic and archaeological impact of the future works.

The 2.3 billion euro development is being financed by 20 partners including the French government, the European Union, Switzerland, the regions of Burgundy, Franche-Comté, Alsace, and French infrastructure manager Réseau Ferré de France.

The project is set to be completed by the end of 2014.

The first phase of the eastern section, which connects Villers-les-Pots (to the east of Dijon) with Petit-Croix (north-east of Belfort), was inaugurated in 2011 by former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Construction of the new line was carried out by a joint venture between setec and Egis Rail. Civil works included two new stations, 13 viaducts, one tunnel and one cut and cover.

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