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Thales launches Ronda-Algeciras rail signalling upgrade

  • Thales will upgrade the signalling systems, fixed telecommunications and power supplies on the Ronda-Algeciras section of Adif's conventional-gauge network.
  • In the medium term, the project will enhance traffic safety and reliability, reduce operating costs and optimise the use of resources.

Adif has awarded Thales a contract to renovate the Ronda-Algeciras section of the conventional-gauge Bobadilla-Algeciras line.

Over the next 28 months, Thales will work with Sistem SA to provide the equipment and construction work needed to renovate the 106 km section without disrupting train services.

One of the major challenges of this project will be to maintain operational service at all times. To achieve this objective, Thales has carried out an in-depth analysis of the conditions needed to ensure simultaneous operation of existing and future trackside equipment and software, and has developed innovative installation solutions, simulation systems and commissioning procedures.

The Ronda-Algeciras section is key to the mobility of passengers travelling between Andalusia and central Spain, and the upgrade will improve freight services to Puerto Bahía de Algeciras, one of Spain's largest ports. The section is also part of the Algeciras-Zaragoza rail highway and both the Atlantic and Mediterranean core rail network corridors.
This section of the line will be equipped with a digital train protection system (ASFA - Anuncio de Señales y Frenado Automático). Fixed telecommunications, fixed signalling and LED light signals will also be replaced, and the existing power supplies will be upgraded. The new technology will enhance train safety and reliability as well as reducing operating costs.

The scope of the new contract includes modernising trackside equipment, replacing incandescent signal bulbs with LED technology, upgrading the analogue ASFA system to a digital version of the automatic train protection system, installing a new telecommunications network, replacing copper cables, increasing the capacity of the energy network and cabling, and providing all associated civil works. These changes will bring down overall energy consumption and increase the availability and reliability of the installations.