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June 23, 2022, Oviedo |

Signalling and Telecommunication systems for the Langreo railway

Pozo Sotón

Within the general upgrade of the Langreo Railway, Adif has signed with the Enyse/Telice joint venture, the contract for the Signalling and Telecommunication systems of the first section of the line.

The main object of the project is to adapt the existing systems to the railway infrastructure enhancement – new EiSS23 electronic interlocking will be placed at Laviana, Sotrondio, El Entrego, Sama, La Felguera, Tuilla and Carbayín stations. Blocks will be controlled through Axle Counters – single track from the head at Laviana to Sama and double track thereon. Standard LED wayside signals will also be used, along with monitored point machines. The Level Crossings which remain after the infrastructure intervention will also be integrated, as well as the ASFA national ATP system. The line will be included in El Berrón’s CTC, paying special attention to its cybersecurity aspects.

On the Telecoms side, a new FO cable will be laid in the new underpass, locating the centralized supervision equipment and telephones at Sama. For the radio system, a leaky feeder will cover the tunnel area, along an array of antennae and emitting stations. The project includes the supply of power for all systems above, new technical buildings in most of the stations and a Centralized Maintenance System at the CTC. Work will be carried out in phases, following the infrastructure developments – contingency plans are foreseen for eventual complications at the tunnel and other works along the railway.

The Langreo Railway was the first industrial railway in the Iberian Peninsula, the second to run in Spain after the 1837 La Habana-Güines line. Built to carry the coal from the Nalón coalfield to the harbour at Gijón, its first section was commissioned in 1852. The railway’s original design had a 1433 mm gauge, almost the UIC standard gauge, but was converted to metric gauge in the 1980’s, following the line’s integration in FEVE - the organization covering all meter-gauge lines in the Peninsula. The last coal load was dug in Nalón’s only open pit, Carrio, on December 31st, 2018. Nowadays the Langreo Railway provides commuter services between Laviana and Gijón Sanz-Crespo stations. The service calls at the Mining Museum in El Entrego and at Sotón Colliery, where visitors are welcome deep down inside a coal mine - of which, quoting historian Mr. Eric Hobsbawn, “the railway is the natural son”.