March 20, 2013

Alstom to develop Spanish third rail signaling

Alstom and Spanish railway infrastructure manager Adif signed an agreement to develop a new third rail signaling system. The project is part of a framework agreement signed by both last November to carry out research and development projects at Adif's Railway Technology Center in Málaga.

The five-year agreement also covers mixed gauge railway operations as well as shared expertise and the exchange of information on scientific activities. The partnership aims to develop innovative, value-added solutions based on this signaling system that can later be sold in the domestic and foreign markets.

To date, approximately 105 miles of third rail have been implemented in Spain, 99% of the infrastructure is being developed and implemented by Alstom. The third rail or mixed gauge system is installed inside the existing rails so that trains with international (1.435 millimeters) and Iberian gauges (1.668 millimeters) can run on the same tracks, enabling interoperability between European and Spanish networks.

The solution, which is inexpensive and can be implemented quickly, will be extended along the Mediterranean Corridor of the Spanish lines. Thanks to this technology, the Mediterranean freight Corridor is expected to be operational by 2015.

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