SPAIN: The Trambahía tram-train line in Cádiz has opened as the country’s first 1 668 mm gauge tram-train line. It includes 13·7 km of new tramway between Pelagatos and Río Arillo, from where services run 10·3 km into Cádiz over RENFE main line tracks shared with suburban, high speed and freight trains.
Passengers services began on October 26. On weekdays tram-trains will operate between 05.20 and 00.30, with 37 services in each direction; 18 run through from Chiclana to Cádiz, while the remainder terminate at Río Arillo with a 3 to 7 min connection on to RENFE suburban trains. There are 19 services per day at weekends, with most running through to Cádiz.
Fares range from €0·89 to €2·18. The Junta de Andalucía has requested that the tramway form part of the national abono recurrente free travel scheme until the end of 2023.
There are 234 000 people within 1 km of the 21 stops. Annual ridership is predicted at around 3 million passengers, which is expected to remove car traffic from Cádiz and the suburbs.
Planning for the project began in 2003 and construction in 2006. The cost was estimated at €140m, excluding rolling stock, and opening was scheduled for 2012.
However, there were long periods when no work took place, and the final cost has come in at more than €267m.
CAF supplied a fleet of seven 750 V DC/3 kV DC tram-trains. The three-section Urbos LRVs are 38 m long and 2 600 mm wide, with enhanced crashworthiness for main line running and two door heights to accommodate high station platforms and low stops on street-running sections.
When the vehicles were ordered, the railway from Sevilla to Cádiz was being upgraded to form part of the high speed network under which a change of gauge was envisaged, so the tram-trains have provision for future conversion to run on 1 435 mm gauge tracks.