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French rail speeds data network installation

Novospeed data ducts save time and money

The French national rail network, SNCF, manages 32,000 km of track with some 14,000 train services operating daily. These include the world famous high speed TGV. Less well-known, is the IT network which runs parallel to the track. This carries all the train management and communication data needed to sustain a safe and efficient rail service.

Advances in optical fibre technologies have allowed SNCF to increase data communications capacity without replacing the original cable duct infrastructure. New smaller diameter optical fibre cables could be blown through the ducts. The new bundles would, however, need to be separated. This in turn, required micro-ducts to be run through the original ducting.

Cost-efficiency is always a high priority on major infrastructure projects, and SNCF needed to ensure maximum efficiency and minimum cost and disruption. For this extensive duct upgrade, SNCF chose the Wavin Novospeed micro-duct system as the only possible solution. The installed rail network had manholes placed at every 2.4 km and only the Wavin solution would allow three micro-ducts to be blown over this distance using compressed air.

Contractor efficiency was critical and Wavin taught the contractors how to install the new Novospeed micro-ducts.
Installing Novospeed at the railtrack
Installing Novospeed at the railtrack

Contractor efficiency was critical and Wavin taught the contractors how to install the new Novospeed micro-ducts. With the right training and the right product, SNCF were able to take full advantage of new data network capacity quickly and at acceptable cost. SNCF estimated that the Wavin solution reduced the overall cost of installation by 40%.

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