France’s Alstom says it will submit a financial offer for the infrastructure of two new railway lines to Tunisian railway company Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Tunisiens (SNCFT) by the end of June.

The company submitted its technical proposal to the SNCFT in January 2010.

Alstom is not the only company submitting proposals but the names of other companies are not known.

The two new railway lines are part of Tunisia’s Speed Rail Network (RFR) that will eventually have five lines covering a distance of 85 kilometres when complete in 2021.

The two new lines that Alstom are bidding for are Line D that will be 11.5-km and Line E that will be 6.4-km. If successful, the company will have to build a depot workshop, tracks, power supply, a catenary line to supply electricity to the trains, signalling systems and telecommunications, according to a source at Alstom.

Tunis is hoping that the RFR project will contribute to an improvement in the environmental quality as the railway network will be powered by electricity rather than by diesel.

When complete, each line of the railway network will be able to carry more than 20,000 passengers an hour between Tunis and its suburbs.

In 2008, the SNCFT appointed Alstom to power and modernise the existing suburban railway line between the capital of Tunis and Borj Cedria to the east.

In line with this deal, Alstom is installing a substation to power the 23-km Tunis-Borj Cedria rail line and 105-km of overhead lines along the track.

The Tunis-Borj Cedria line, also known as Line A, is the first phase of the RFR. Tunis first announced plans to electrify this line in 2001 (MEED 19:1:01).

Alstom will not submit an offer to supply rolling stock for the railway, a source at the company tells MEED.