FGC placed a €9.4m order for two of the two-car GTW 2/6 articulated trains with Stadler in February 2014 in one of the final phases of a €45.5m 10-year project to upgrade the 89km line, which was taken over by the Catalan government in 2005.
The 50m-long trains are compliant with European Stage IIIb emissions standards and accommodate up to 201 passengers, 104 of them seated.
After the line passed to Catalan control, Spanish infrastructure manager Adif retained responsibility for maintaining the line, as well as train control and staffing the only manned station at Balaguer, while Renfe has continued to operate the train service on behalf of FGC.
Earlier this month FGC took over maintenance from Adif while train control and stations will pass to regional control in July. With the commissioning of the DMUs, FGC will also take over train operations.
With the completion of infrastructure upgrades and the introduction of new rolling stock, the Lleida – Balaguer journey time will be reduced from 29 minutes to 24 minutes, while Lleida – La Pobla de Segur will be cut from 1h 50min to 1h 33min.