THE president of the Andalucía regional government, Mr Juanma Moreno, joined Spain’s minister for transport, mobility and the urban agenda, Ms Raquel Sánchez, to officially open the Trambahía tram-train route in Cádiz on October 26.

This is the first tram-train service in Spain to operate on the 1668mm gauge national network managed by Adif, and runs for a total distance of 24km serving 21 stops.

A new 14km light rail route runs from Pelegatos via Chiclana de la Frontera and San Fernando to Río Arillo where it joins the Seville - Cádiz main line. Tram-trains then run through to Cádiz on 10km of Adif infrastructure, shared with long-distance passenger, commuter and freight trains.

The project has taken 16 years to complete and has cost a total of €267m, making it the largest infrastructure project undertaken by the regional government in the Cádiz metropolitan area.

Infrastructure work undertaken since 2019 has cost €38.5m. In July the regional government awarded CAF a €30.8m contract to supply three additional tram-train vehicles, the manufacturer having already delivered seven for Trambahía.

CAF has supplied a total of 10 tram-train vehicles for Trenbahia. Photo Credit: Andalucia regional government

The 10 tram-train vehicles take traction current at 750V dc on the light rail section of the route, and at 3kV dc on the national network. The Trambahía fleet is maintained at a new workshop in Pelagatos that covers 27,000m2.

The Andalucía regional government will be providing €14.4m a year to meet Trambahía operating costs. This includes payments under a 10-year operating contract awarded to Spanish national operator Renfe for €55.8m.

Renfe is responsible for providing all operating personnel including drivers, control centre staff, and customer service staff.

Trambahía will serve a population of 234,000 within a 1km radius of its stops. Ridership is expected to reach 3 million passengers in the third year of operations.

Energy for the new tram-train route comes from 100% renewable sources. Its entry into service is expected to remove 1.1 million car journeys from the roads every year, according to Moreno, reducing C02 emissions by 2600 tonnes or the equivalent of planting 7400 trees.

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