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Engineering & Projects

Engineering & Projects contributes to the upgrading of the railway system by optimising its performance. In collaboration with other internal and external players, it designs and implements network development and regeneration projects. It also provides innovative solutions and technical expertise, both of which are essential to all of the many activities within SNCF Réseau.

Cross-company assignments

In all its assignments, Engineering & Projects provides all players in the railway system with its expertise in security evaluation for projects. Whether for high-speed modernisation or regeneration projects, Engineering & Projects contributes its technical knowledge, experience and overall vision of the system, in collaboration with the other sectors of SNCF Réseau.

Keeping at the forefront of technical engineering

Engineering & Projects has adopted a continuous and long-term approach to RID (Research, Innovation and Development). E&P experts design higher performance components which are easier to operate and maintain: tracks, panels, traction systems, etc. Such is the case for the V350 overhead line which is the fruit of 30 years of research. This overhead line allows for an excellent quality of electricity capture and provides high cost effectiveness, from the point of view of both investment and maintenance.

Engineering & Projects contributes to the development of the national railway system and provides it with best-in-class expertise for technical studies and project implementation.


A concrete example: the regeneration of the Mende – La Bastide railway line

The Mende – La Bastide line, located in a winding landscape, was modernised. Continuous welded rails (CWR) were installed on concrete railway sleepers - a more reliable and economical solution.

A team of E&P experts with dedicated resources was involved in this project. This produced the following benefits:

  • improved travel comfort
  • reduced maintenance costs
  • new components and processes were developed and tested, thereby enabling the installation of curved tracks



Engineering assignments and areas of expertise

E&P expertise is provided for four closely related types of engineering assignments:

How we are different:
  • Integration of the 4 technical fields
  • Railway company and ground-space interface
  • Assignments range from design to operations
  • Experience of daily operations and project implementation in an operational network


and five areas of expertise:

In order to diversify its approaches and effectively manage the increase in railway network investments, Engineering & Projects works with engineering and industry partners to support them and to help them enhance their railway expertise.

National coverage and firmly implanted regional centres ensure greater responsiveness

4,100 staff work for the different Central Divisions (e.g. Technical, Major Projects, etc.) and the 6 E&P Interregional Divisions. They are based all over France and are also involved in assignments in some foreign locations. The personnel are assigned on the basis of technical expertise and project difficulty.

An exhaustive road map

Engineering & Projects has defined its priority commitments for its customers (the maintainer and the operator of the 11 territories and Ile-de-France):

  • ensure that start of service for 4 new high-speed lines by 2017 is on schedule
  • mobilise the expertise of all relevant companies, manufacturers and engineering firms to upgrade the railway system, thereby meeting the needs of its customers
  • use digital technology to effectively manage railway resources through the creation of new acquisition tools and processing of databases
  • implement a new management model for investment projects (simpler and more focused on accountability) and based on an inter-activity working approach

Optimised organisation to better serve the needs of the railway system

Engineering & Projects is organised in the following way:

  • The Safety Division is responsible for the general organisation of the management of safety in Engineering & Projects, and monitors its effectiveness (indicators, analysis of serious events, periodical review of safety management system, management of safety staff network).
  • The Human Resources Division defines and implements policy related to employment, recruitment, development of skills and career management of Engineering & Projects staff in accordance with the overall policy established by the Human Resources Division of SNCF Réseau and SNCF EPIC.
  • The Financial Control Division prepares and monitors E&P budgets, and verifies the results.
  • The Management Control and Methods Division establishes and monitors the forecast for the production of investment for SNCF Réseau projects. This division provides leadership and support in the management of projects and resulting associated risks, both within E&P and for cross-company areas (procurement and sales contracts, outsourcing, performance processes, quality management system, information system for aspects specific to E&P).
  • The Technical Services Division provides railway system expertise within E&P for SNCF Réseau. It supplies studies, expert services, diagnostics, measurements, tests and the development of technical tools in accordance with the eco-design policy of SNCF Réseau. This division includes seven departments (Lines-Environment, Infrastructure, Railway Signalling, Electrical Test Lab, Fixed Installations for Electric Traction, Telecommunications, Railway System) and a Technical Coordination Centre.
  • The main aim of the National Major Projects Division is to prepare and to oversee as the complete project owner, or through Public-Private partnerships, the implementation of major infrastructure (e.g. new lines) or technology (signalling, telecommunications, etc.) projects adopted by SNCF Réseau.
    The National Major Projects Division includes project management units dedicated to the operations for which it has responsibility (LGV East high-speed line, Tours-Bordeaux, Brittany-Loire, Nîmes-Montpellier bypass, EOLE, Centralised Network Command, GSM-R, ERTMS and Telecoms, etc.) and support units (creation and management of major projects, financial control).
  • The Regional Projects Division is responsible for implementing network projects outside the Ile-de-France area; providing services related to technical studies, expertise and measurements; and supplying support related to engineering, design and maintenance to the different regional units of SNCF Réseau. This division is composed of six interregional E&P divisions which include one or two Project Agencies in charge of managing investment projects, and two to four Regional Engineering Centres.
  • For the Ile-de-France area, the Director of IDF projects reports directly to the IDF General Manager and is under the functional responsibility of the Deputy General Manager E&P. The IDF Projects Division applies the methods and processes defined by the national level E&P in accordance with specific IDF requirements.