DUE TO open in stages this year and next year, the Córdoba - Málaga high speed line will be equipped to operate with ETCS Levels 1 and 2. Contractor for the train control systems is Dimetronic Signals, sister company of Westinghouse Rail Systems. Both companies are members of the Invensys Rail Systems Group, and Dimetronic is to supply the group's Futur ERTMS equipment for the line.

The Futur system, which has been jointly developed by Dimetronic and Westinghouse, has been piloted on the Albacete - Chinchilla section of the Madrid - Valencia main line. Dimetronic has been leading the field trials for both the lineside and onboard equipment, and Level 1 tests have been completed, while tests with Level 2 equipment are scheduled to end in the next few weeks. The trials have have proved the capabilities of the Futur equipment and confirmed its suitability for use on the 155 km Córdoba - Málaga line, where the companies hold a design, install and commission contract.

The locomotive being used for the tests on the pilot line has had its standard Spanish ASFA train protection apparatus removed and replaced by the Futur ETCS equipment which, in addition to performing the ETCS functionality, uses a Specific Transmission Module for the ASFA functionality. Lineside equipment has been supplied by Bombardier for Level 1, and Siemens provided GSM-R for use with Level 2. Radio Block Centrehandover tests have been successfully carried out, an important milestone in the Level 2 development process.

When the first section of the high speed line opens from Córdoba to Bobadilla, planned for the last quarter of this year, both Levels 1 and 2 should be operable, with ASFA available as a back-up. The Dimetronic contract covers RBCs, the main control centre, lineside electronic units, ASFA equipment, jointless track circuits, and LED signals. Alcatel is supplying interlockings and power supply equipment.

Elsewhere in Spain, Dimetronic is participating in three consortia with Siemens and Alcatel for signalling equipment on other high speed lines: Lleida - Barcelona, Segovia - Valladolid and the recently-commissioned 25 km line serving Toledo. In each case the contracts cover conventional colourlight signalling with simplified ASFA and Level 1, as well as the full Level 2 ETCS.

Dimetronic is also in another consortium with Siemens and Alcatel to bid for ERTMS equipment for the 90 km high speed line between Madrid and Segovia, which will complete a high speed route from Madrid to Valladolid. Tenders were submitted on January 16.

Future plans in Spain envisage that the entire Madrid suburban network will be fitted with Level 1, with Level 2 installed in the new tunnel being completed between Chamartín and Atocha.

Picture caption: Test train on the Albacete - Chinchilla section of the Madrid - Valencia main line

Photos:Robert Smith

Picture caption: The ERTMS Driver-Machine Interface (right) provides instructions to the locomotive driver, whose progress is followed from the control centre (below left). Eurobalises (below right) are used for train location and to provide the Level 1 track-train communications back-up