French company Thales has received a contract worth more than €20m to conduct works on the Ortigueira-Ribadeo section of the 740 metric gauge rail link in Spain.

Expected to run for 27 months, the contract comes under the ‘Plan for the Elimination of Telephone Blocking systems’, which is being developed by Spain’s rail infrastructure authority Adif.

Thales will be responsible for the coordination of the project and use an automated solution to replace the current telephone blocking system.

It will remotely control all the interlockings from the company’s Centralised Traffic Control Centre in El Berrón, Asturias.

The project’s main purpose is “to improve the rail service by increasing capacity and service frequency, as well as enhance safety and reliability.”

The 101km section between Ortigueira station and the Ribadeo estuary bridge presently features an analogue automatic signal announcement and braking aid driver assistance system, as well as telephone blocking between adjacent stations.

Furthermore, the line comprises the equipment required for planned new configurations with streamlining of stations on the route. It will also cover the newly constructed stations at O Barqueiro and Barreiros.

Thales will now complete all the required signalling installations, new electronic interlockings, and a train detection system with AzLM axle counters.

It will also install new LEDs, an electric drive and an ASFA Digital protection system, as well as integrate the line with CTC, fixed telecommunications, video surveillance and access control in technical buildings.

In addition, the project will cover new buildings, civil works and a power system, as well as testing and commissioning.

The company previously concluded the construction project for the elimination of the telephone blockage on the Ferrol-Ortigueira section, which links with this section.