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Barcelona: Metro line L4 to be prepared for fully automated operation

Driverless, fully-automated operation can already been on Barcelona's lines L9 and L10 | © UTM/b

Generalitat de Catalunya’s Department of Territorial Planning has put out to tender for 66 million euros the works to renovate the signalling system on L4 of the Metro, which prepares the line for possible driverless automatic driving.

In a statement on Tuesday, the department explained that this work will technologically modernise the current system, increase the commercial speed, increase the number of trains on offer and make the system more reliable.

The works will last five years and will include works inside tunnels, the technical rooms of the signalling equipment, the control centre and the equipment on board the train. It is also planned to install four new track devices around the L4 stations of Maragall, Urquinaona, Selva de Mar and La Pau to improve the operation of the line.

The project will also improve maintenance work on the line, the diagnosis of faults and the resolution of incidents.

Line L4 runs completely underground on the Trinitat Nova – La Pau route and serves a total of 22 stations over a length of 17.3 km.

Fully automated, driverless train operation on lines L9/L10 | © UTM/b

In Barcelona, lines L9, L10 and L11 are already running driverless and fully automated. L11 directly connects with L4 at the common terminus Trinitat Nova. It was subsequently converted to fully automatic operation in 2010, while the other two lines have been operated in automatic mode right from the start. The automated-train control and signalling system has been installed by Siemens Mobility.

L4 at the joint terminal station Trinitat Nova shared with L11 some years ago | © Budach