The arrival of the RER Eole in the Yvelines again delayed

Mais le chantier d'extension d'Eole à l'Ouest, vers Mantes-la-Jolie, imaginé dès 1994 et lancé en 2015, s'éternise.

Posted Sep 30, 2022, 4:46 PMUpdated on Sep 30, 2022 at 4:47 PM

Mantes, Poissy, Les Mureaux… everywhere, new station districts are springing up in the cities of Yvelines intended to accommodate the future RER E (Eole). The first inhabitants, attracted by the prospects of this new transport, which must for example link Mantes to La Défense in 22 minutes or Les Mureaux to Saint Lazare station in 32 minutes, are beginning to settle. But we still don’t know when Eole will finally be able to ride in the great west of Ile-de-France!

No date for completion of the work – creation of eight kilometers of tunnels and adaptation of forty-seven kilometers of existing tracks – has not yet been announced. To the chagrin of local elected officials… “Our territories are penalized by these delays. We have started urban planning projects, new companies have set up, ”protests in particular Karl Olive, Renaissance deputy for Yvelines and former mayor of Poissy.

Financial difficulties

A large eastern part of the Eole network, up to Saint-Lazare station, was completed several years ago. But the extension project to the West, towards Mantes-la-Jolie, imagined in 1994 and launched in 2015, is dragging on. The elected officials initially counted on 2022, then 2024… and no more date today. Even Luc Lallemand, then managing director of SNCF Réseau (the SNCF subsidiary responsible for building the network), refused to make any estimate during his hearing on September 13 by Ile-de-France-Mobilities the authority regulator of Ile-de-France transport.

A few days after his hearing, which was held in a tense atmosphere with the elected officials, Luc Lallemand was landed in favor of his former deputy, Mathieu Chabanel. Should we see there, in particular, a direct consequence of this disagreement displayed with the elected officials? In any case, the task of the new general manager promises to be complex.

Our territories are penalized by these delays. We have started urban planning projects, new companies have set up

Karl Olive, Renaissance MP for Yvelines

There are many reasons for Eole’s delays. Heavy technical and financial problems weighed on the site. A flood of the Seine caused damage, while the health crisis caused numerous delays. Today, it is the difficulties in the supply of raw materials that are felt.

In the end, the cost of the project jumped from 3.7 to 5.4 billion euros, including 700 million in contingency provisions. At the start of 2022, SNCF Réseau therefore threatened to stop the work if it did not obtain additional funding. Under the impetus of the regional prefect Marc Guillaume, all the partners (State, Ile de France region, Hauts-de-Seine and Yvelines departments, City of Paris) agreed last spring to grant an extension of 600 million euros. euros. But, according to a good connoisseur of the file, SNCF Réseau would not have relaunched calls for tenders for the continuation of the site: the sums promised would not have yet been paid to it…

Pessimistic predictions

The attitude of SNCF Réseau made Valérie Pécresse, president of the region and of Ile-de-France-Mobilities, jump. In a letter, addressed to Jean-Pierre Farandou, the boss of the SNCF, that “Les Echos” obtained, she deplores: “the Eole project has known too many turpitudes in recent years” and clearly indicates that in the event of work stoppage “SNCF Réseau would bear full responsibility for the consequences […] “.

Will this threat be enough to restore the situation? In addition to the last extension, there are still 1.1 billion euros to be found. “I alerted the Minister of Transport,” says Karl Olive. This dossier must be discussed within the framework of the next State-Region plan contract”.

A prospect that worries some elected officials and user associations. “We are against this solution. The billion taken from the plan contract for the benefit of Eole would be to the detriment of other equally essential transport projects, ”reproaches in particular Marc Pélissier, president of the federation of users (Fnaut) Ile-de-France.

The icing on the cake: the site could be interrupted for part of 2024… so as not to interfere with the Olympics. Some observers give their prognosis: the commissioning of Eole, in its Yvelinoise part, should not take place before the end of 2026.


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