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UK firms in line for European rail projects

BOOMING RAIL construction in Europe will provide at least 27bn worth of work for UK firms, a government run seminar will tell contractors and consultants today (Thursday).

Seven major European rail projects are expected to go to international tender within the next two years.

Three of the schemes form part of the European Union-promoted priority rail network, linking major European capitals 770km of rail route will connect Lyon, Turin, Munich and Verona.

The projects involve much complex tunnelling work including a single 54km tunnel beneath the Alps at the French-Italian border and are likely to be offered on a design, build, finance and operate basis.

Other schemes highlighted by the conference include Switzerlands 7.5bn AlpTransit line, with nearly half its 260km length tunnelled; metros for Dublin and Malm in Sweden plus Britains Channel Tunnel Rail Link. The Newcastle seminar is run jointly by the Department of Trade and Industry and Business Link Tyneside, a local group of commercial interests.

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