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Our history

Based on over 170 years of experience, the history of Colas Rail was born in 2008 from the merger of these two companies, Seco Rail and Spie Rail, marking the beginning of a new era. The wealth of resources of our company stems from the diversity of its various sectors and areas of expertise.
  • 1846

    Foundation of SCB

    Ernest Gouin set up the Batignolles construction company (SCB), which played an active part in building the first railway lines in France, but also worldwide, competing with the British position in the railway sector.
  • 1900

    Foundation of SPIE

    Baron Édouard Empain set up the Société Parisienne pour l’Industrie des chemins de fer et des Tramways Électriques, SPIE.
  • 1931

    Foundation of Seco

    Seco was founded (Société d’Études et de Construction d’Outillage) to build and operate the first high-yield French ballast undercutter-screener designed by Maurice Lemaire, an engineer with Compagnie des Chemins de Fer du Nord, then Construction and Housing Minister, from 1953 to 1955.
  • 1950

    Development of Seco

    Seco evolved in the 1950s and extended its business to carry out track-laying, renewals and upkeep.
  • 1968

    Foundation of Spie Batignolles

    SCB and SPIE merged to form Spie Batignolles.
  • 1978

    Foundation of Seco/DG

    Following the acquisition of Seco and Verstraeten, Desquenne & Giral became a holding in 1978 and took a new name, Gestion Desquenne & Giral. It brought all of the railway businesses under the Seco Desquenne & Giral banner, which was quickly to become Seco/DG.  Seco changed its name at the same time and became Société d’Entretien et de Construction. The group continued to acquire a number of other companies in the 1980s and 1990s. The railway activities of the acquired companies were gradually merged with Seco/DG.
  • 1978

    Establishment in Middle East

  • 1980

    First establishment in South America

  • 2000

    Foundation of Seco-Rail

    In October 2000, the Colas Group acquired the rail activities of Desquenne et Giral and founded Seco Rail.
  • 2003

    Foundation of Amec Spie Rail

    Amec took over Spie and set up Amec Spie Rail.
  • 2007

    Colas acquires Spie Rail

    The Colas Group acquired Spie Rail.
  • 2008

    The foundation of Colas Rail

    Founding of Colas Rail, born from the merger of Seco-Rail and Spie Rail.
  • 2010

    Establishment in North Africa

  • 2011

    Establishment in Asia

  • 2015

    Establishment in the Adriatic region

  • 2016

    Enters the Subsaharan market

  • 2017

    Establishment in North America

  • 2018

    Acquisition of Kummler & Matter, Elektroline, Colas Rail Italia and Lundy Projects

    As part of the acquisition of Alpiq Engineering Services' railway activities on July 31st, three railway companies specialized in catenaries joined Colas Rail in continental Europe: Kummler Matter in Switzerland, Elektroline in Czech Republic and Alpiq Enertrans SPA in Italy. Thus, Colas Rail strengthens its position as an international and multi-disciplinary player in the sector.