SPAIN: Regional operator Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat Valenciana has awarded Stadler Rail Valencia a €35·8m contract to supply six electro-diesel multiple-units for the metre gauge railway between Benidorm and Dénia.

This forms a part of a €72m programme to upgrade the 50 km Benidorm – Dénia Line 9 to match the comfort, safety and accessibility standards of Alacant’s light rail network which it connects with in Benidorm.

The project includes €17m of track renewals on the 14 km Calp – Teulada section, €2·4m to repair bridges at La Vila-joiosa, Teulada and Gata de Gorgos, €13m for signalling and train protection systems and €4·6m for refurbishment of the stations at Benidorm, Teulada, Gata de Gorgos and Dénia. Modernisation of the Teulada – Gata de Gorgos and Gata de Gorgos – Dénia sections is planned as a later phase of the upgrade.

Line 9 is currently operated using six Class 2500 two-car diesel multiple-units dating from 1966-73; these have been refurbished but have high maintenance costs. The replacements to be supplied by Stadler will offer better reliability, comfort, accessibility and passenger information, and would be able to operate in light rail mode using the 750 V DC supply on the electrified section of the network.