The contract has an estimated value of €56.8m and covers the design and commissioning of GSM-R and ETCS Level 2 on the section of Rodalies Line R1 between L'Hospitalet de Llobregat and Mataró. This section has 15 stations and includes the busy tunnel between Barcelona Sants and Clot-Aragó.

The winning bidder will equip the line with electronic interlockings and will maintain all signalling systems for 20 years, which adds €36.1m to the value of the contract.

Adif has also opened the tendering process of a separate 20-year contract to design, install, and maintain a new informatics system at Barcelona centralised traffic control (CTC) centre, which will be worth around €10.4m. The winning bidder will be responsible for migrating the centre from the current CTC system over a six-month period while ensuring train services remain unaffected.

The Barcelona CTC currently controls all conventional lines in the Barcelona and Girona provinces, and selected lines in the remaining Catalonian provinces of Tarragona and Lleida.

On May 21 a massive CTC failure brought most suburban and regional services on the 1668mm-gauge network around the city to a halt, stopping 200 trains for more than one-and-a-half hours and affecting 80,000 passengers. Similar failures hit the network in December 2014, July 2013 and April 2011.