french train leaving station

Case Study

High Speed Connectivity

TE Connectivity (TE) partnered with a worldwide construction company and French National Railway Utility to deliver reliable and long lasting solutions.

302 km of High Speed Line and 40 km of Connection to the Existing Line

The SEA (South Europe Atlantic) line, is an high speed line between Tours and Bordeaux, in France. With 302 km of new line and 40 km of connection to the existing line, this was one of the biggest railway project all over Europe. The economical development of the territory as well as the implementation of sustainable mobility were the key issues of this initiative. 

French Railway Projects

The S.E.A., South Europe Atlantic, project was a complete new rail high speed line in France. Vinci won the construction contract and needed a partner in critical supply for construction of the overhead line. The LGV S.E.A. Tours - Bordeaux line has 340 km of new rail lines including 302 km of high speed line and roughly 40 km of connection to the existing line. It goes through:

  • 3 regions
  • 6 departments
  • 113 towns
  • 320 km/h speed
  • 13,000 catenary poles 


For a project of this scope, Vinci needed insulators, connectors and fittings qualified by the national rail utility, to ensure connections across the line.

They also needed a partner they could count on for rapid response and support.

Being qualified by the French national railway utility means:

  • Products are long lasting to reduce maintenance need and ensure safety
  • Products are reliable to ensure highest quality, allow network reliability and high speed train availability
  • Meet demanding specifications for high technical performances 
railway project railway droppers

The TE Connectivity advantage combines numerous decades of global insulator design experience, along with Raychem material expertise. TE Connectivity specially formulated EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) formulation brings a superior pollution resistant covering, with superior acid and chemical resistance advantage, stemming from the semicrystalline structure of the base EVA polymer: a key advantage over the softer amorphous structure of silicone insulators.

In addition to that, 10 years of studies and experimentation allowed TE to obtain the certification of the French national railway company.

With a wide range of connectors and the patented droppers solution, TE offered a reliable and long lasting solution. Our dropper is articulated at both the upper and lower part in order to improve electrical and mechanical behavior. Thanks to its design, this connection dropper passed all the tests defined in the national company’s specification (mechanical, electrical and oscillation tests).


60,000 insulators for S.E.A.


20,000 insulators for high speed line East Extension 2


References of connectors and fittings, including 120,000 droppers

With many years of expertise and experience in designing and supplying products for demanding rail applications, TE Connectivity’s Energy Division worked on designing, testing and manufacturing products for this rail line. In fact, many long years of development, testing and field trials, with both Vinci and the national rail player made it possible.

TE Connectivity has within the last two years, received homologation from the French national railway company for a range of rail insulators for installation on the French rail networks.

This has allowed TE Connectivity to become a key supplier in France for insulators product range specifically for High Speed Rail (HSR) projects. TE rail insulators are now being installed in Eastern France on the Paris to Strasbourg HSR extension project and deliveries start shortly for the S.E.A. project, from Tours to Bordeaux, which is currently under development. 

“TE demonstrated their strength in an uncommon context. They clearly positioned themselves as a key railway supplier thanks to offering all possible connection solutions. TE quality expertise and special understanding of our needs made them the best choice.”