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Alstom Spain key player in the Albacete - Alicante high-speed project

17/06/2013

Alstom Spain has had a special role in the new high speed line to Alicante. The signalling systems, electrical infrastructure and rolling stock have been developed and supplied from the different industrial and technological centres located around the country. 

Two divisions from Alstom Transport in Spain, Signalling and also Electrification and Turnkey Systems, have participated in the execution of the high-speed project between Madrid and Alicante. The main milestones of this project were: 

  • Delivery times: The signalling project, technologically the most complex of those implemented so far in Spain, is being completed in a record time. 
  • Financing: For the first time a high-speed rail project was implemented under a public-private partnership scheme. Furthermore, the Project, which is also financed by the EIB, was completed without any deviation and totally in accordance with the original tender budget. 
  • Pioneering technology: With regard to signalling, this is the first time in Spain that a Level 2 signalling system has been commissioned without Level 1 support. This fact, which was possible thanks to Alstom's technological expertise in high-speed signalling in Europe, also contributed significantly to reducing the initial cost of the civil works. 

With regard to infrastructure, two substations and 15 associated autotransformer stations have been commissioned. 

Signalling Project (ERTMS L2)

In 2011, the Spanish Administrator of Railway Infrastructures (ADIF) awarded a contract to the Alstom-led consortium to build and maintain for a period of 20 years the signalling and telecommunications systems for the high speed line Albacete-Alicante (165 km of double track).This is the first contract to supply HS equipment awarded by Adif in PPP (Public Private Partnership) scheme.In this projet, Alstom will undertake the global coordination of the project, the system architecture and the supply, installation and maintenance of the signalling system and ERTMS.

The key technology in this project is the ERTMS signalling equipment for high-speed lines. This is the first time that the ERTMS Level 2 has been installed in Spain without Level 1 support. The advantage of ERTMS Level 2 is based on the continuous train positioning thanks to the radio-frequency signalling system, compared to the conventional system which positions the train intermittently using Eurobalises.

The implementation of ERTMS Level 2 is to be performed in record time, pending the final version after the amendments needed to be implemented according to the tests being made on both the equipment on plain track and train-track integration.

Alstom is a global leader in ERTMS Level 2 technology. Six of the ten lines currently operating in Europe with this technology have been developed by Alstom. Among others, Alstom has equipped the first very high-speed line in Italy (Rome-Naples), the first high-speed cross-border section (from Liege in Belgium to the German border), a line with high traffic density between Mattstetten and Rothrist (Switzerland), as well as the dedicated freight section in Havenspoorlijn (Holland).

Electrical infrastructure: substations and autotransformer stations

Alstom Spain was also entrusted in the Madrid-Alicante project with the supply and installation of two 2x25 kV traction substations and the associated autotransformer stations.

The equipment actually installed was two traction power substations and 15 associated autotransformer stations.

To carry out this project, the team at Alstom Transport Spain worked together with the division of the Group's electricity transmission division (Alstom Grid Spain).

With the opening of this line, the Alstom Transport Infrastructure unit, a leader in high-speed substations in the Spanish market, has participated in the construction of almost all the substations on High-Speed lines in Spain, including the Madrid-Barcelona, Madrid-Albacete-Valencia and Cordoba-Malaga lines.

Alstom Transport Spain is the global centre of excellence for 2x25 kV AC High-Speed Substations.

Alstom Series 100 – pioneers in high speed

Alstom Transport has been a pioneer in the introduction of high speed in Spain. The first train to circulate at 300km/h on Spanish railway lines was the model known as series 100 and it was designed, manufactured and maintained by Alstom. Following this first train, a further 23 trains followed suite, the majority manufactured in Alstom´s industrial site in Barcelona. 

Today, Alstom´s trains continue operating successfully on the Madrid-Seville line and are a reference in Spanish high speed travel for the highest safety and comfort levels and the outstanding punctuality records. In fact, it continues being the train with the best punctuality records, currently at 99.8% according to the operator Renfe.

These trains, completely modernised in 2009, will run on the new HSL to Alicante and, thereafter, will be incorporated onto the first Spanish international HSL linking Spain and France.

With more than 30 years of experience in high speed, Alstom is the worldwide leader in the manufacturing of trains, signalling systems and maintenance of high and very high speed train lines. Alstom´s range of trains include duplex trains, with front and distributed traction, articulated and non-articulated trains as well as models reaching commercial speeds of 360 km/h. Currently, some 1,200 high speed trains manufactured by Alstom circulate worldwide and Alstom holds the world railway speed record of 574.8 km/h.