Alstom Ends Dispute Over $3.1 Billion Paris Rail Refurbishment


Alstom SA will fulfill a major Paris commuter-train order, ending a months-long spat over the controversial contract.

French railway company SNCF and Paris metro operator RATP on Wednesday said they reached an agreement with suppliers including Alstom to deliver 146 train cars for the RER B line, representing a total investment of about 2.6 billion euros ($3.1 billion).

The contract awarded in February had sparked a bitter dispute and subsequent legal wrangling between suppliers and the rail operators, which are among Alstom’s biggest customers. The order was won by Bombardier Inc.’s rail unit just days after its takeover by Alstom, which was also in the running. Alstom rejected the deal at the time, saying Bombardier’s offer carried risks for the manufacturer, operator, financial backers and mass-transit users.

Alstom is now in a position to execute the contract, a spokeswoman for the company said Wednesday.

SNCF and RATP said that talks over the past weeks had allowed Alstom to become familiar with the terms and “dispel its concerns.”

The RER B line cuts through Paris, providing service to some of the capital’s most densely populated suburbs as well as to Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport.

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