Publié le 10/04/2017 - Mis à jour le 10/04/2017
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Le Mans–Sablé sur Sarthe project: 37 km of train tracks renewed in 3 months

Major renewal works have been underway since early May 2016 between Le Mans and Sablé-sur-Sarthe, in both directions. The main railway components are being replaced by using an imposing and mechanised industrial machine known as “Rapid Works”. The works are scheduled to be completed in late July.

Ensuring the long-term future of the infrastructure

The railway line between Le Mans and Angers is situated in the very heart of the Pays de la Loire region. Its traffic includes not only high-speed Atlantic TGV trains between Paris-Montparnasse and Nantes, Croisic and Sables-d'Olonne, but also TER regional trains (Pays de la Loire) between Le Mans and Angers. As part of its railway line modernisation programme, SNCF Réseau decided to renew 37 km of train tracks, railway sleepers and ballast on the Le Mans/Sablé-sur-Sarthe section of the line. The aim of this renewal programme is to ensure a high level of performance in terms of railway infrastructure, train regularity, and passenger comfort and safety.

The « Rapid Works » or Factory-Train

To carry out these works, SNCF Réseau uses an industrial machine called “Rapid Works”. This highly mechanised and very effective machine operates directly on the train tracks and is able to renew up to 1,000 metres of track per day. As a result, the renewal works in question can be completed in less than 3 months.

Replacing train tracks with a factory-train in 4 stages




  • 21 km of new train tracks on the Le Mans to Angers line (Track 1)
  • 16 km of new train tracks on the Angers to Le Mans line (Track 2)
  • €46 million invested by SNCF Réseau
  • 500 workers involved in this renewal programme
  • 950 metres of train tracks replaced every night


Reducing noise pollution

To limit the impact of this project on passenger traffic as much as possible, the renewal works are only conducted during the night – between 10 pm and 6 am (Monday evening to Saturday morning). During these times, railway traffic is interrupted.

To reduce noise pollution for the neighbouring residents, this mobile work site only moves during the day.

Project stakeholders

  • SNCF Réseau - project leadership, project management, worksite surveillance, logistics and financing
  • MECCOLI - company carrying out the renewal works, using the “Rapid Works” factory-train.