The two-and-a-half year contract covers the installation of ETCS Levels 1 and 2 together with conventional lineside signalling on the mixed-traffic line. Ansaldo STS will also supply the traffic control centre, which will be located in Oran, and install onboard ETCS equipment on 15 trains.

Construction began in August 2008 on the €1.2bn project, which includes 31 bridges and viaducts totalling 14km, 1.6km of tunnel, and the reconstruction of three existing stations. The double-track line will be electrified and is designed for operation at up to 220km/h.

A second phase will eventually extend the line west from Tlemcen to the Moroccan border.