Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Malaga light metro network opens

Written by  Fernando Puente

LIGHT metro trains started commercial operation today in Malaga, making it the seventh city in Spain to have a metro. The eight-year project cost €594m to complete.

Malaga's light metro comprises a Y-shaped, standard-gauge network of two lines running from a common terminal at El Perchel alongside Maria Zambrano station.

Line 1 is 6.7km long with 10 stations and runs west via the University to Andalucia Tech. The first 3.8km from El Perchel to University is underground with the remainder on the surface. The 4.3km Line 2, which has six stations, is entirely underground, and runs south to Palacio de los Deportes. Both lines are equipped with Alstom's Urbalis 400 CBTC signalling system, and are electrified at 750V dc overhead.

The network is operated by a fleet of 14 CAF Urbos 3 LRVs which have a maximum speed of 70km/h, and a capacity of 221 passengers, 52 of them seated. Services will operate at seven-minute headways during peak periods, reducing to a 10-minute frequency off-peak.

Ridership is forecast to reach 5 million passengers a year by 2015, increasing to 8 million by the end of 2016 once a new section between El Perchel and Guadalme, now under construction, opens.

The network has been built under a concession contract let to Metro de Malaga, a company set up by Andalusia Regional Government which has a 25% stake, along with a joint venture composed of FCC-Globalvía and several minor construction companies. The concession includes the operation of the metro until 2042.

It is planned to extend Line 1 from El Perchel east via Guadalmedina to Atarazanas with a 300m-long underground station, while Line 2 is expected to be extended north from Guadalmedina over-ground to Hospital Civil.

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