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New step for the gauge change in the Vandellòs-La Boella section

The Mediterrani Corridor continues to advance both north and south. This week Adif Alta Velocidad has taken a new step for the change of track in the section from Vandellòs to the La Boella changer, which will go from Iberian to international gauge in this process to strengthen this corridor. The project is part of a larger package that affects the entire section from Castelló to Camp de Tarragona station.
Thus, the contract has been tendered to carry out the necessary track and catenary works to proceed with this change on the existing track, going from a width of 1,668 mm to the standard of 1,435. The actions affect a 35.5-kilometre-long section, from the beginning of the Vandellòs variant to the gauge changer, located next to the T-11, a point at which the services are already incorporated into the AVE line Madrid-Barcelona-French border. In fact, this is the section that was put into operation on January 13, 2020, which will now run at high speed. Also included is the adaptation to the new gauge in the sidings and in the connections with the Vila-seca and Bellissens forks.

For the implementation of the standard width, the multipurpose sleepers already implemented in the layout will be used. The existing turnouts will be adapted and the catenary will be adjusted to the new configuration. All geometric operations and adaptations will also be carried out, adapting to the technical interoperability specifications for the new gauge.

As specified by Adif, the action has a budget of 8,132,618.76 euros and the estimated execution period will be six months. It is not specified when the works could begin, which will now have to be awarded. And it is that this contract is part of a package of actions that must be carried out in this same line and that affect issues such as security and telecommunications elements, which must be replaced.

Affectations

Adif states that “it is too early” to publicize the effects that the gauge change operation will have on train traffic. Unlike other actions, these works will not be able to advance at night, while the trains continue to circulate during the day. Sources consulted assure that they will be carried out in sections and that traffic could be maintained on one of the tracks while work is being done on the other. However, it is already advanced that “there will be effects on users and goods.” Meanwhile, Adif affirms that these are issues that will be defined in a work plan that will be specified in the coming months.

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