TWO new double-track sections on the Sevilla - Cádiz route were officially brought into service on July 27 in the presence of Spanish Development Minister Magdalena ?lvarez.

In addition to track doubling, under a €700m project level crossings are being eliminated, with new alignments constructed in certain locations. The power supply and signalling are being upgraded to permit high speed operation in the future, with track laid on gauge-convertible sleepers.

The 14·6 km Jerez de la Frontera - El Puerto de Santa María section now brought into service includes 4 km of new alignment, running in part on Spain's longest rail viaduct, a 3 221·7 m structure across the floodplain of the River Guadelete. On the 8 km between Bah????a Sur and Cortadura, work continues on a new station at Bah?a Sur and on doubling a further 1·3 km.

According to the Ministry of Development, 64·4 km of double track is now in service on the 152 km between Sevilla and Cádiz, with work in progress on a further 72 km. A joint venture of Gea 21 and Comsa has been awarded a €62·5m multi-disciplinary contract covering works on the 16 km Las Cabezas de San Juan - Lebrija section, including 5·9 km of new alignment.

The frequency of peak suburban services between Cádiz and Bah?a Sur is to be doubled to every 15 min, offering a 62% increase in the number of seats provided each day. Seven new Civia EMUs were due to replace existing rolling stock from September, entering service at a rate of one per month.