On 11 February 2019, the French state, represented by the Minister for Transport Elisabeth Borne, and Société Gestionnaire d’Infrastructure CDG Express signed the concession contract to finance, build and operate the CDG Express airport rail infrastructure. The concession was approved by decree of the Prime Minister on 14 February 2019, and was published in the Official Journal on 16 February 2019.
CDG Express will connect Gare de l’Est in central Paris with Terminal 2 at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, covering the 32 kilometre route non-stop. Trains will run every 15 minutes in each direction, from 5 a.m. to midnight, every day of the year. Travel time is expected to be approximately 20 minutes.
The connection is due to open on 1 January 2024, a few months before Paris hosts the summer Olympics.
Société Gestionnaire d’Infrastructure CDG Express is a consortium between SNCF Réseau, Aéroports de Paris and Caisse des dépôts et consignations. The infrastructure is set to cost EUR 1.8 billion, plus approximately EUR 300 million of financing costs. Of this total amount, more than EUR 500 million will finance improvements to the existing RER B line that currently links Paris to its busiest airport.
Herbert Smith Freehills advised Caisse des dépôts et consignations with a team composed of Hubert Segain, Christopher Theris, partners, Noémie Laurin, associate, on corporate aspects, Eric Fiszelson, partner on financing matters, Christophe Lefort, partner and Thomas Herman, associate, on projects aspects.