As part of a national strategy initiative on the future of French industry led by the State, eleven manufacturing sectors were in 2010 declared to be strategic in France, amongst them the rail industry.
With the recent policy directions taken by means of the Grenelle Environment Roundtable concerning transportation policies in favor of rail, the rail market has grown significantly in the past few years, and this has thus increased requirements as regards civil engineering and rail renovation.
The state of the national rail network and the necessity of improving the structure of maintenance have given rise to the implementation of a rail network renovation strategy.
In light of the growth of the rail business in France and abroad, the large public works groups have made significant investments in the sector, in order to take advantage of market opportunities and to be able to reply to national and international calls for tenders. This has translated into large public works groups acquiring firms and setting up subsidiaries specialized in the construction and maintenance of tracks.
Due to this structural change, we are also seeing the emergence of substantial requirements in respect of the recruitment and training of qualified staff. Requirements to which the cluster, in addition to its manufacturing mission, would like to find solutions.
For the Creusot-Montceau area, this sector takes on a very special importance due to the strong presence here of a network of subcontractors which have for a long time being working on behalf of large clients in the rail industry.
Thus, the members of Mecateamcluster® have know-how which also encompasses all of the lines of business which enable the design, the production and the maintenance of mobile machinery in multi-field sectors such as infrastructure (tunnels, bridges), road, lifting and the handling of large tonnages (sags, wagons/carriages, etc.).
Finally, the presence in the economic area of a genuine private rail network connected to the national network provides a unique and shared technical platform, a network of competitive SMEs, and schools and universities offering the innovation and know-how to fuel the design, production and maintenance of mobile machinery .