SLOVENIA: CAF Signalling has completed installation of a new signalling system for Celje station. The project is part of an upgrade of the line between Zidani Most and Šentilj on the Austrian border. CAF says that due to the line being a very important one for freight, and the high volume of both passenger and freight traffic at Celje station, the project is the largest and most complex one which it has ever been undertaken The new signalling at Celje now includes 97 points, 188 axle-counters, 166 signals and two level crossings. The new system is controlled from a new signalbox at Cilje and integrated into the CTC system, and commissioning of the two new CAF interlockings took just 18 days.

Taiwan: Work on full track-doubling of the Hualien - Taitung line will begin in March. Currently, 69.3% of the 162km route is single track. The line, which was electrified in 2014, is now one of only two single-track lines in Taiwan. Track doubling of the Hualien - Taitung line is due for completion in October 2027 and will allow service frequency to be increased from two or three trains per hour to seven or eight, and journey times reduced by 12 minutes to 45 minutes.

Spain: Infrastructure manager Adif will build a cut and cover tunnel over the section of the Barcelona -  Portbou line passing through the centre of Granollers. The project has a budget of more than €21m. The first phase involves remodelling maintenance facilities areas around Granollers Centre station, relocating them to the site of a former freight terminal and constructing new buildings for the maintenance teams and for electrification, safety and communications systems. A €6.3m contract for this work has been awarded to a joint venture of Contratas Vilor and Vials i Medi Ambient. A second phase of the project will see a 356m section of railway covered over with a transparent roof that will provide access for pedestrians and vehicles.

A Rhaetian Railway (RhB) Allegra EMU at Alp Grüm station. Photo credit: PJM

Switzerland: PJM has carried out dynamic testing on the steeply graded and sinuous section of the 1000mm-gauge Rhaetian Railway’s (RhB) Bernina Line between Alp Grüm station and Poschiavo in the Grisons. On the adhesion-worked line RhB Allegra EMUs, with panoramic roof carriages attached, descending from an elevation of 2091m at Alp Grüm to 1014m at Poschiavo via spiral tunnels, tight curves and zig-zags. Curve radius is as a low as 45m and gradients are up to 7%. PJM’s running tests of different train configurations have been undertaken to measure wheel-rail forces to inform future operations and rolling stock development.

An EAV train at Pompei Scavi station on the Circumvesuviana Railway. Photo credit: Systra

Italy: Public transport operator EAV has awarded Systra SWS and Systra Sotecni a contract to update signalling systems on its 950mm-gauge suburban network in Naples. Implementation by 2026 of ERTMS on half of the network, coupled with ACCM digital interlockings, will offer safer and more reliable, robust and flexible operation. Electrical substations will be equipped to recover almost all the energy produced by trains during regenerative braking and return it to the grid. Modernisation of infrastructure and communication equipment will enable frequency of trains on the Castellammari - Sorrento section to be increased to every 12 minutes.

Kazakhstan: National operator and infrastructure manager Kazakhstan Railways (KTZ) says over 560km of track will be renewed on the country’s 1520mm-gauge network in 2023. As well as major repairs, KTZ also plans to carry out enhanced and medium repairs on 90.5km of track and replace 634 sets of turnouts with new units on reinforced concrete bearers. KTZ says it has over 732 specialised vehicles to carry out track repairs and maintenance. In 2022 work was undertaken on around 1000km of which over 550km involved track renewals to ensure safer operation.

Spain: The cabinet has authorised the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda (Mitma) to tender, through Adif AV, a  contract for drawing up studies and the project programme for the transformation of Bilbao Abando station ready for the arrival of the high-speed line from Vitoria. The contract worth up to €20.4m will also cover commissioning of the provisional station in Basauri and relocation of railway services and facilities currently located at Abando station, where the new high-speed line, having run for 6.87km from Basauri, will terminate at new underground platforms beneath the existing station.

For more data on rail projects in Europe, Asia and around the world, subscribe to IRJ Pro.