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New rail link between Spain and Portugal

Evora-Elvas/Caia section.

Evora-Elvas/Caia section.

SENER, through its Lisbon Division, has signed a contract with Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP) for technical assistance in the management of construction projects related to the new rail link between Évora (Portugal) and Elvas/Caia (Portuguese towns on the Spanish border).

The contract, with a scheduled term of 15 months, includes the management of the infrastructure and substation project, as well as the catenary and structures. This work will be carried out through three different consortia. SENER’s participation will focus in particular on the management of the interfaces and the technical quality of the engineering solutions that will allow the transition to an international gauge track. The scope of the work covers cartography, topography and geotechnical prospecting, quality assurance, and health and safety coordination in all phases of the project, as well as the environmental impact studies required to obtain a favorable EIS (Environmental Impact Statement).

The line will have a total length of 80 km, three technical stations (PUEC) and 21 viaducts, the latter with a total length of 8,500 metros. The rail infrastructure will be interoperable and will be designed for mixed traffic, with 25 tons per axis, with speeds of up to 250 km/h for passenger trains and 120 km/h for freight trains. Furthermore, the line will be electrified and equipped with electronic signaling and will also ensure the movement of 750 m-long freight trains. The projects will be executed so that the line can be constructed in two phases: a first phase consisting of the construction of a single Iberian gauge track (1,668 mm); and a second phase to build an international gauge track (1,435 mm), with migration of the gauge to that of the second phase (1,668 mm to 1,435 mm).

As part of the 2014-2020 Strategic Transport and Infrastructures Plan for Portugal, one of the objectives of this new line is to increase freight transport capacity and reduce journey times. This will make it more competitive than road transport, and it is hoped that the ratio of freight carried by rail to Spain and Europe will increase, with the resulting environmental and social benefits.

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