Zaragoza – Canfranc rail modernisation enters next phase

Zaragoza – Canfranc lineAdif has started the comprehensive renovation of Zaragoza – Canfranc line, an essential connection to promote rail transport between Zaragoza and Huesca with the Aragonese Pyrenees.

On 1st of September train services have been restored including on the Zaragoza-Lleida corridor following the completion of the first phase of the project according to its schedule. All the works were carried out in August and will continue until next year comprising the preparation of the land on the Huesca branch of the Madrid – Zaragoza – Barcelona high-speed line, in a section of about 9 km. The investment exceeds EUR 14 million.

This project integrates works to improve the land under the track platform, with the aim of improving its consolidation and avoiding future effects on the railway infrastructure. In this way, it is intended to avoid possible anomalies, increasing the bearing capacity of the foundation soil.

The works cover drainage improvements on a 300 metre area to evacuate the water from the ground, the consolidation of the platform through injections of dry mortar with more than 4,100 m3 of injections and more than 27,500 m of drilling up to 25 m deep. The platform will be reinforced using geocomposite such as synthetic materials used to improve drainage on various surfaces, which will be installed under the ballast, in the sections where the ground is less compact. Almost 62,800 m2 of geogrid are used.
Work also includes the installation of devices and systems on a 400-metre rail section which will monitor the infrastructure in real time and remotely. 8.6 km of track superstructure, both conventional and standard gauge, have been erected for later replacement. In total, almost 21,300 m3 of land are excavated and 6,390 m of prefabricated cable duct are replaced.

The project also covers the complete renovation of the track between Plasencia del Monte and Ayerbe to which an investment of EUR 19.1 million is allocated. According to the progress of the works, whose schedule is adjusting to the planned planning, the superstructure of the infrastructure has already been lifted and the earthworks and transversal drainage works are being carried out. This action represents the first phase of the project to promote the plan for the improvement and adaptation to international traffic of the Huesca – Canfranc line, in accordance with the commitments made by the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda.

The plan, which strengthens the actions for the reopening of the Zaragoza – Canfranc – Pau (in Catalonia), also includes includes the interventions, already tendered, for the comprehensive improvement of the Jaca – Canfranc sections, for an amount of EUR 37.7 million, and Ayerbe – Caldearenas section, with an investment of EUR 47.9 million including the procurement of the needed materials for both sections.
The actions on the Huesca – Canfranc section on the Zaragoza – Canfranc line will make it possible to eliminate various speed limitations, and modernise the track equipment and layout, which will allow the maximum traffic speeds to be increased. All this by improving the curve radii to achieve a sustainable speed in accordance with the orography and the characteristics and limitations of the route, which is conditioned by the fact that it runs through a particularly mountainous area and with a large number of tunnels and metal bridges.

In addition, these works will improve the regularity of circulation and provide greater reliability, availability and efficiency to the new superstructure, reducing maintenance needs and the probability of incidents attributable to the railway infrastructure and facilities.
Specifically, between Plasencia del Monte and Ayerbe, the infrastructure will be renewed over a length of 20.7 km, and the layout will be improved with the introduction of curves of transition, which will allow to increase the speed in the route, considering the mixed traffic of the line. In addition, at the Ayerbe station the turnouts will be renewed, with the installation of new devices.

The substitution of 30 drainage works and their replacement by others with a minimum height of 80 cm has been projected. In addition, 5 new ones will be built and another 12 will be maintained.
The platforms of the Ayerbe and Plasencia del Monte stations will be adapted, the pavement of the level crossings in the section will be renewed and the protection of the overpasses will be increased.
The entire project will be implemented with funds from the NextGeneration EU recovery plan.

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