Emmanuèle Saura, territorial director of SNCF Réseau Occitanie, speaks exclusively for La Dépêche du Midi, about the 50 major projects that will be carried out in Occitania in 2022 to modernize the structuring rail network to provide finer service to the territories.
50 major projects, 313 million euros of investment in 2022, is this the start of a new era?
It is a sustained regeneration effort, in line with previous years. it is also a shift with the implementation of the Rail Plan signed with the Occitanie region. Our intervention is strong and spread over the entire region, both on the structuring network and the fine service of the territory.
Is there a Covid effect on your investments?
The worksites were frozen for three months during the 2020 confinement, but we were very responsive and the worksites planned for 2020 and 2021 have all been carried out. With the recovery plan, despite the additional cost and the drop in traffic linked to Covid, we are not falling behind in 2021 and 2022.
Are the works undertaken on Toulouse-Montauban the first link in the railway works north of Toulouse linked to the LGV?
No, these are important but classic line regeneration works. The work you mention will follow in 2023 and 2024.
The Rail Plan provides for the reopening to passenger traffic of 5 lines including Montréjeau-Luchon. It’s for when ?
The Region wanted to have control over the works of this Montréjeau-Luchon line for a commissioning announced by the region in the second half of 2023.
More than 71 million euros are devoted to the modernization of Toulouse-Pau?
It’s a work bulldozer on this line with 500 million already invested since 2015 and major work this year on the catenary and in the tunnel to modernize this fully electrified line and improve train regularity. We are also very proud of our plant train tool, unique in Europe, which will allow us to change 500 catenary poles on the coastline between Nîmes and Montpellier this year, faster and without slowing down the trains, at a cost of 15 million euros. 300 railway workers will be mobilized and 80 agents have been recruited in 2021 by SNCF Réseau Occitanie on all these sites, with 2,000 induced jobs.