es-Monforte - Lugo tunnel image-ADIF

Photo: ADIF

A freight train emerging from the tunnel at Oural, which will be replaced under the upgrading plan.

SPAIN: Infrastructure manager ADIF has set out plans to invest a further €546m in modernising two rail corridors across Galicia, linking the junction at Monforte de Lemos with Ourense and Lugo.

The plans were unveiled at an event in Lugo on March 12 attended by ADIF President Isabel Pardo de Vera and representatives from the transport ministry. They build on existing proposals to electrify at 25 kV AC the 73 km mostly single-track route between Monforte and Lugo, for which ADIF called tenders in January.

The additional work includes modification of the overhead line equipment between Ourense and Monforte to provide both 3 kV DC and 25 kV 50 Hz; gauge clearance on both routes to support new or modified catenary; repairs and refurbishment of 104 bridges, nine stations and 21 tunnels; renewal of track and ballast on both routes; and the elimination of 35 level crossings at a cost of around €30m.

A 7 km section of the Monforte – Lugo line was rebuilt on a new alignment in April 2018, bypassing the village of Puebla de San Xulián, south of Lugo. ADIF proposes extending this cut-off further south to eliminate more level crossings and facilitate 160 km/h running.

The existing tunnel at Oural, broadly halfway between Lugo and Monforte, is to be replaced by a new bore 1 903 m long because of the need to increase the loading gauge for electrification. The old tunnel is to be retained as an emergency access route.

Signalling equipment and telecoms are to be modernised with new interlockings, ASFA Digital train protection and an optical fibre transmission network. Point motors are to be replaced, axle counters installed, and signal heads fitted with LEDs.

The work between Lugo and Monforte is expected to be covered by up to 51 separate packages valued at an estimated €344m, while that between Monforte and Ourense will be tendered as 20 contracts worth €202∙5m.

A three-month blockade to accelerate the work is scheduled on the Lugo route at the end of 2021, with a similar blockade on the Ourense line in Q2 2022.