Alstom, Indra and SanJose Constructora to supply tunnel security systems for Spanish high-speed line

Inside Pajares Tunnel on Spain's new Madrid-Asturias high-speed line

A consortium of Alstom, Indra and SanJose Constructora has won a contract worth €53 million from Spanish railway infrastructure authority Adif to supply and install the safety and security systems for twelve tunnels in the Pajares Bypass section of Spain’s new Madrid-Asturias high-speed line

The 49-kilometre Pajares Bypass, joining the municipalities of La Robla (León) and Pola de Lena (Asturias), is part of the future León to Asturias High Speed Line (LAV), which will substantially improve the railway connection between Madrid and the north of Spain.

The Bypass, which includes a 25-kilometre bi-directional tunnel, the second longest tunnel in Spain, will allow trains to cross the Cantabrian Mountains at high speed.

Pajares tunnel portal.

The consortium will supply the safety and security systems for the tunnels, including ventilation and firefighting systems, fire doors, emergency radio and gas detection.

In addition, Alstom will provide the power supply for the entire system and will integrate it into the customer’s remote-control Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system (SCADA). Assistance and emergency responses are also part of the package.

This work is nothing new for the consortium. Teams from Alstom and Indra have a great deal of experience in similar projects on the Spanish rail network. Specifically, the companies have already equipped and maintained electromechanical installations in 32 tunnels associated with the Ourense-Santiago line, and four tunnels on the Madrid-Valladolid high-speed line, including the Guadarrama tunnel – the longest in Spain.

Alstom and Indra have also jointly installed tunnel security systems for the high-speed line between Antequera and Granada, while SanJose Constructora has built various sections of the main high-speed lines in Spain (including Madrid-Zaragoza-Barcelona-French Border, Madrid-Valencia, Madrid-Galicia and Madrid-Asturias).

The Contreras to Villargordo del Cabriel section of the Madrid-Levante line (Madrid to Valencia) was one of the most challenging, with 85 per cent of the route made up of three tunnels and three viaducts, among them the Contreras bridge – one of the longest concrete arch spans in Europe at 856 feet (261 metres).

The Contreras highway and rail bridges. The single-span arch closest to the camera is the rail bridge.

The Pajares Bypass will allow passenger and freight trains to cross the Cantabrian Mountains at high speed. It will reduce the travel time on the MadridValladolid-León-Oviedo / Gijón route and will ease railway connections with the Asturian ports.

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