Press Release

Balfour Beatty’s HS2 bid joint venture partner VINCI hands over SEA Tours-Bordeaux high speed line in France

20 March 2017


The South Europe Atlantic (SEA) Tours-Bordeaux high speed line was inaugurated in France in the presence of French President, François Hollande, last month.

Balfour Beatty’s HS2 joint venture bid partner, VINCI, are an investor and shareholder within the consortium LISEA which built the SEA Tours-Bordeaux high speed line, in contract with SNCF Reseau. VINCI, in joint venture with SYSTRA, will operate the line under a 50-year concession contract.

The new high speed line between Bordeaux and Paris spans 302km, with 10 links spanning a further 38km to connect the new line to other cities in southwest France, and will dramatically shorten journey times to 2 hours 4 minutes between the two cities with capacity for 20 million passengers a year.

The line brings with it a multitude of economic benefits, bringing areas between Paris and Bordeaux closer together and creating easier travel connections between Bordeaux and the main cities in southwest France. Additionally, the line will free up capacity on the existing rail line between Paris, Tours, Poitiers, Chatellerault, Angouleme and Libourne, as well as Orleans, Limoges and Toulouse. This will ease movement between these cities and help to re-invigorate the local areas.

In total, the project employed almost 10,000 employees with an investment of €7.8 billion from both public and private sector parties. Having been delivered one month ahead of schedule, the line is set to open to traffic on 2 July 2017.

France’s SEA Tours-Bordeaux high speed line has many similarities with the British HS2 line with regards to required expertise and capability to deliver such large-scale, mega infrastructure projects.

Balfour Beatty VINCI, a long established joint venture between two global infrastructure leaders recognised for their portfolio of large scale projects, has been shortlisted for four civil engineering packages of work for HS2 with a combined total of £3.3bn to £5.4bn. This includes LOT N1, the Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel to Delta Junction/Birmingham Spur; Lot N2 the Delta Junction to West Coast Main Line Tie-in; Lot C1, the Chiltern Tunnels and Colne Valley Viaduct; and Lot C2, the North Portal Chiltern Tunnels to Brackley.


To read the full release from LISEA please click here





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Notes to editors:

  • Balfour Beatty ( is a leading international infrastructure group. With 36,000 employees, we provide innovative and efficient infrastructure that underpins our daily lives, supports communities and enables economic growth. We finance, develop, build and maintain complex infrastructure such as transportation, power and utility systems, social and commercial buildings.


  • Our main geographies are the UK, US, Middle East and South East Asia. Over the last 100 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including the London Olympics’ Aquatic Centre, Hong Kong’s first Zero Carbon building, the world’s biggest shopping mall in Dubai, the National Museum of the Marine Corps in the US and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.


  • VINCI is a global player in concessions and construction, employing more than 185,000 people in some 100 countries. We design, finance, build and operate infrastructure and facilities that help improve daily life and mobility for all. Because we believe in all-round performance, above and beyond economic and financial results, we are committed to operating in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. And because our projects are in the public interest, we consider that reaching out to all our stakeholders and engaging in dialogue with them is essential in the conduct of our business activities. 


  • Balfour Beatty VINCI represents a powerhouse for critical infrastructure across Rail, transport and other iconic projects in the UK and beyond. Balfour Beatty VINCI’s involvement in groundbreaking Design Build Finance and Operation (DBFO) projects offers a unique end-to-end asset knowledge that is crucial in developing the best solutions to the infrastructure needs of the UK.


  • Balfour Beatty and VINCI started working together over 30 years ago when both were members of the TransManche Link consortium which delivered the Channel Tunnel.


  • Balfour Beatty VINCI has successfully bid and delivered a number of key projects on Crossrail and have recently been awarded a Smart Motorways Programme, starting with an 18km stretch of the M5.


  • As leading infrastructure groups, both Balfour Beatty and VINCI Construction offer opportunities for trainees, apprentices, placement students and graduates as well as sponsored degree opportunities

Vivienne Dunn

Senior Media & PR Manager