Portugal starts Beira Alta modernisation

On 26 July, Infraestruturas de Portugal assigned the modernisation works for Guarda-Cerdeira section, part of Beira Alta mainline, which connects to Salamanca, in Spain.
The European Coordinator for the Atlantic Corridor, Carlo Secchi, together with country’s Minister of Infrastructure, Pedro Nuno Santos, held the kickoff upgrade ceremony at Guarda rail station.
The EUR 8.7 million project is expected to be completed within almost one year, 294 days, precisely.
The project envisages the modernisation of the 14 km rail section, the adaptation of the catenary, signalling and telecommunication systems.
This is an important project which will better integrate the North International Corridor and will boost rail transport development and the connection with Spain. The modernised section will ensure shorter travelling times for passengers and freight transport between the two countries, including with the other EU states.
After modernisation works will be completed on Beira Alta line modernisation, part of the International North Corridor, the number of trains will increase by 20% per year, and the volume of freight transport will increase by 26% per year. Beira Alta Line is Portugal main rail link to Europe and is part of TEN-T and Rail Freight Corridor No. 4 (Atlantic).
Under Portugal 2020 rail investment plan, the Porto / Aveiro – Vilar Formoso link via Beira Alta line is defined as a priority strengthening the rail connection of northern and central Portugal with Europe.
The global project aims to contribute to achieving an interoperable connection between Aveiro and Vilar Formoso (Spanish Border) through the improvement of the existing Beira Alta Rail line from Pampilhosa to Vilar Formoso. The project is part of the pre-identified section “Rail connection Aveiro-Salamanca-Medina del Campo” of the Atlantic Corridor.
Also in July, the infrastructure manager launched the tender on the modernisation of Pampilhosa – Santa Comba Dão section, part of Pampilhosa-Vilar Formoso of the Beira Alta line (202 km).
The tender has an estimated value of EUR 66 million and the project is expected to be completed within two years and a half. Works include the modernisation of 34 km of rail section, integral replacement of track superstructure, the modernisation of Mortágua station, including layout changes to accommodate 750-m trains, the installation of modern signalling and telecommunication systems, the rehabilitation of 10 tunnels and 8 bridges.
Under the project, a 1-km viaduct and a technical station will be constructed.
The modernisation of Pampilhosa – Santa Comba Dão and Guarda – Cerdeira sections are part of the Beira Alta line project which is 85% funded by the EC through the CEF.
Under the 2015 CEF call, the ‘Beira Alta line (Pampilhosa-Vilar Formoso): detailed design and works’ received a EUR 375.86 million funding from CEF. The project was estimated at EUR 547.74 million. The line will be prepared for the installation of the UIC gauge in full synchrony with Spain and its overhead contact line will be adapted to ensure ITE compliance.

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