WITHIN a budget of €177·3m, bids have been invited for a contract to supply interlockings, train protection systems, telecommunications, GSM-R radio and a traffic control centre for the Madrid - Valladolid high speed line and its branch to Medina del Campo.

A second contract worth up to €51·6m has also gone out to tender, covering installation and maintenance of overhead electrification equipment, point heaters, tunnel lighting and associated systems on the Madrid - Segovia and Valdestillas - Valladolid sections.

Alcatel España has been awarded a €21·8m contract to undertake resignalling work at Valladolid Campo Grande in preparation for the arrival of high speed services, while Dimetronic will be undertaking similar work at Madrid Chamartín under a contract worth €21·8m. ADIF has been authorised to call tenders within a budget of €17·1m for civil works on the final 11·4 km between the Duero river and Valladolid Campo Grande, where a single 1435mm gauge track will be laid alongside the existing Madrid - Irún main line.

According to the Ministry of Development, at the start of December civil works had been completed on 90·4 km of the 179·7 km Madrid - Valladolid route. Work was in progress on 61·6 km, with contracts awarded or out to tender for 22·9 km. Only the 4·6 km section from Fuencarral to Madrid Chamartín remained to go out to tender, with the high speed line expected to open between Madrid and Valladolid in 2007.