es-Barcelona Sants remodelling-ADIF

SPAIN: ADIF completed work to remodel the track layout at Barcelona Sants station on March 1, following a nine-month programme known as ‘four by four’ aimed at reconfiguring the broad gauge tracks serving the deep-level station.

Since a previous remodelling in 2008 ahead of the launch of standard gauge high speed services, Sants has had eight 1 668 mm gauge tracks available for use by trains on Rodalies (suburban), medium-distance and inter-city services. To the northeast of the station, these tracks diverge into two tunnels: one to Plaça de Catalunya, used by 618 trains per day, and the other to Passeig de Gràcia, used by 396.

However, only two platform tracks at Sants were available for trains to and from Plaça de Catalunya, while six were linked to the Passeig de Gràcia route. This imbalance with the service pattern made it challenging to manage platform allocations and maintain reliable operations on the dense cross-city corridor. A particular headache for the operator was the need to move passengers quickly from one island to the other if a train were subjected to a platform alteration at short notice.

Since June 1 2020, ADIF has been reconfiguring the station layout to provide four platform tracks for each route. The remodelling has been completed within a budget of €9m, with most of the work undertaken in overnight possessions. Sants has also become the first major station managed by ADIF to be equipped with an automatic routeing system, requiring minimal intervention from dispatchers during normal operations.

The remodelling has been completed ahead of the imminent installation of ETCS Level 2 through central Barcelona; lineside equipment is already being fitted between L’Hospitalet and Mataró to the south of the city.