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In what is believed to be the first ever international collaboration of its kind, a group of students from Coastal Carolina University in the U.S.A visited La Fabrique du Métro - the “Metro Factory” - in Saint-Ouen in the northern suburbs of Paris on Friday, May 18th. They viewed the latest engineering and architectural design concepts being tested for use in what is believed to be Europe’s largest transport project, Grand Paris Express.

The guided tour was hosted by FIABCI-France whose President, Léo Attias, accompanied the group. Through the latest digital devices, computer generated images, videos and models, the Coastal Carolina students were shown the massive scale of the Grand Paris Express project which is now under construction and is scheduled for final completion in 2030. This group of new, fully automated rapid transit lines will transform rail travel in and around the French capital.

It will include 68 new interconnected stations and 200 kilometers of new railway. 90% of the system will be built underground and will have the capacity to transport 2 million commuters daily. It is expected to cost between 35 billion and 40 billion euros (39 billion to 45 billion US dollars).

Commenting on the student visit, Léo Attias said:
“We are very pleased to have welcomed students from one of FIABCI’s academic member universities in the USA. They received a fascinating presentation at the Metro Factory and gained an understanding of how Grand Paris Express will have a huge impact on our regional and national economy over the next decade and beyond.”

The visiting students were all undergraduate from the Wall College of Business Administration at Coastal Carolina University, South Carolina, USA. The Wall College is one of the leading business schools in the south-eastern United States. It has over 2,000 undergraduate students across six degree programs and 90 graduate (MBA and MAcc) students. There are more than 8,000 alumni around the world. Coastal Carolina’s participation in the study tour was co-ordinated by its “Grant Center for Real Estate and Economics”, founded in 2016 and named after FIABCI’s Honorary World President, Tony Grant and his wife, Carrie, who now live in South Carolina.

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