The contract includes the design and installation of interlockings, train protection, centralised traffic control, ancillary detection, GSM-R communications and fixed telecommunications systems on the 164km section between central Extremadura and the Portuguese border where civil works have been completed. The supply and installation element of the contract is worth €149.9m, while the value of the maintenance portion is €163.9m.

This section is expected to remain isolated from the rest of the standard-gauge network for several years, as works to connect it to the Madrid – Seville high-speed line have been delayed.

The line will be equipped with a single Iberian-gauge track, allowing it to be used by conventional diesel trains.

The Spanish Government plans to open the finished section during 2015.

Adif has also launched tenders for the supply of switches and ballast for several sections of this line. The total value of these contracts is around €16.2m.