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December 14, 2021

Thales to upgrade Madrid-Seville high-speed route

Thales' TTC track circuit allows the installation of 16 units on each frame.

France’s Thales has won two contracts to modernise the Madrid-Seville High-Speed line, which commenced operations 30 years ago.

The combined value of these contracts stands at around $110.97m (€98m).

The first contract has an estimated value of approximately $90.59 (€80m), funded by EU reserves, and will have an implementation time of 52 months.

Under this contract, the main signalling installations (electronic interlockings) on the route will be swapped with other modern electronic interlockings.

Thales will combine the management of the current train protection system (LZB) with the new European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) Level-2 solution.

The scope of the contract will also cover upgrade of the copper networks for the systems that spot fallen objects on the lines.

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Thales said in a statement: “It will be done while fully guaranteeing all safety, security and operating features, with the LZB system remaining in commercial operation before, during and after the commissioning of the new ERTMS system.”

Under the second contract, worth $20.38m (€18m), the company will replace 1,306 track circuits for this same high-speed track to substitute the existing FTG-type ones.

Thales TTC track circuit enables the deployment of 16 units on each frame and eliminates the requirement of space in the technical rooms.

The available space will now be utilised for the placement of new ERTMS interlockings and equipment.

These TTC circuits have been trialled on UIC track gauges (standard: 1,435mm), Iberian (1,668 mm) and metric and with high-speed overhead voltage (typically 25 KVca), conventional (3 KVcc) and metric (1.5 KVcc).

Thales main line signalling managing director Dr Yves Joannic said: “We are very pleased that Thales has signed two important contracts for the renovation of the Madrid-Seville High-Speed line 30 years after it first opened.

“Thanks to Thales technical expertise, the renovation of the line will help to adapt the systems to the European interoperable standards as well as enhance the line’s capacity for the benefit of the passengers.”

Earlier this month, Thales received an order from ProRail to supply an axle counting systems for new ERTMS railway tracks.

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