SPAIN: ETCS Level 2 validation testing began on April 26 on a recently completed 104 route-km section of high speed line through the mountains between Pedralba de la Pradería and Taboadela.
The route forms the next part of the 1 435 mm gauge corridor being developed to link Madrid with Ourense, Santiago de Compostela and Vigo, and is expected to open for revenue services during the second quarter of the year.
Initial validation of the ETCS lineside equipment is being undertaken by ADIF Alta Velocidad using a Class 730 electro-diesel trainset which has a maximum service speed of 250 km/h, although later trials are planned up to the maximum line speed of 300 km/h. Completion of the ETCS testing will allow the start of reliability trials ahead of the launch of public services.
Alongside the ETCS commissioning work, testing is underway of other subsystems including GSM-R and fixed telecoms links, with a particular focus on the coverage in tunnels. Such is the undulating nature of the local landscape that most of the route is in tunnel; no less than 80% has been constructed as two single lines, either in single bore tunnels or on separate surface alignments.
When commercial operations begin, the trains will rejoin the conventional network at Taboadela, continuing to Ourense over a 15∙4 km section of dual-gauge track.