SPANISH infrastructure managers Adif and Adif AV have completed a project to build a new 46km single-track Iberian-gauge line between Xátiva and La Encina south of Valencia.

The line officially opened on September 9 and will host diverted traffic from the existing Iberian gauge line between Xátiva and La Encina while this is upgraded to a double-track standard-gauge high-speed line under the €245m second phase of the project. This work will continue the extension of the TEN-T Mediterranean Corridor to the southeast of Spain.

The infrastructure managers have invested €505m to build the new electrified Iberian-gauge alignment between Xátiva and La Encina, which has two tunnels, seven viaducts, two overbridges and three underbridges.

CAF Signalling was responsible for supplying signalling, including five Quasar Q4e interlockings, four object controllers, and two Q4e block controllers as well as LED signals, the Asfa Digital train protection system and train detection based on axle-counters. The supplier also upgraded signalling at Xátiva station.

CAF says that it will also equip the new line with ERTMS Level 1 and that interlockings will be renewed between Pobla Llarga and Alfafar on the line between Xátiva and Valencia, as part of the government’s investment plan for the Valencia commuter network.

Under the second phase of the Xátiva - La Encina project, the two existing Iberian gauge tracks  will be replaced with standard gauge track for use by high-speed and freight trains, while new 25kV ac electrification will be installed as well and as ERTMS Level 2.

Alcoi branch improvements

In addition, the Spanish government has approved a tender for the comprehensive renovation of the 64km Xátiva - Alcoi non-electrified line.

The contract is worth an estimated €117m and will include the replacement of all track and adapting clearances for future electrification for commuter services, including replacement of certain structures. Platform lengths will also be lengthened at stations to accommodate longer trains while a third track will be installed at Ontinyent to boost capacity.

Work is expected to begin in 2024 and last for 15 months.