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Assembly and installation - Signalling system in the Portuguese Railway Network

Signalling and Telecommunications

Portugal - North and central region

Siemens Mobility

09‑2017 - 07‑2024


The project foresees the installation of new signaling and telecommunications systems in the following sections: 

  1. Nine-Valença of Minho Line (91 km single track); 
  2. Ovar-Gaia of North Line (32 km double track); 
  3. Vale de Santarém-Entroncamento of North Line (46 km double track); 
  4. Louriçal-Figueira da Foz, on the Western Line, Ramal do Louriçal and Ramal de Alfarelos (43 km single track). 

This brownfield project includes the migration from the existing electrical system to an interoperable electronic system. 

Before the present modernization intervention, the track was equipped with an electrical signalling system from the 60s of the last century, which had the following main characteristics: 

  • It was equipped only with signals in just one way direction of circulation. As a result, circulation in the opposite direction is carried out under a telephone call system, in which the dispatch of trains was carried out through registered calls between the agents of collateral stations. This procedure limited circulation to only one train at a time between stations; 
  • Command and control were carried out locally at each Station, which required the presence of operational personnel at each Station; 
  • Most of the Level Crossings were equipped with automatic announcements in only one direction, with manual closing of barriers by human resources and not providing opposite direction announcements. 

The installation of electronic signalling, will increase security and aims to standardize command and control conditions with those existing in the rest of the National Railway Network, as well as to improve operating conditions, namely: 

  • The installation of interlocking systems that command and control the point machines (without the presence of human resources in the stations), detects trains, thus allowing the safety of the railway to be exclusively dependent on the human factor; 
  • By the installation of interoperable traffic control systems - ETCS (European Train Control System) on lines and sections with cross-border connections 
  • The integration and automation of Level Crossings, which promotes a strong increase in road and rail safety. 

This project includes the following equipment and civil works: 

  • Signals 
  • Track circuits 
  • Axel counters 
  • Cabinets 
  • Pedals 
  • Level crossings 
  • Foundations 
  • Cableways 
  • Insulated Rail Joints 
  • Earthing and bonding system