Infrastructures and Stations
In railway traffic, our country is at the forefront in terms of both the number of lines and kilometres in service and under construction, and the role played by new technologies.
Railway traffic is coordinated along a vast network where hundreds of train crossings, departures and arrivals at stations take place every day. To keep this complex mechanism working at full throttle and prevent, as much as possible, any incidents from affecting normal traffic, a network of Traffic Management Centres control and coordinate railway operations.
Since 1992, the experience gained in high-speed lines and the need for new answers to management and control issues have changed the way in which high-speed train traffic is regulated in Spain.
Through the DaVinci technology platform, the Spanish model achieves all-round management of all the processes, systems and users on a single open-architecture platform which also offers the possibility of remote control and monitoring of lines managed by other control centres.
This concept is applied in the Control and Regulation Centres (CRC), which include all the systems involved in railway traffic regulation, from signalling to passenger information, thus meeting the requirements of high-speed railways.
This Spanish management model for high-speed train traffic has been adopted in other countries such as Morocco, Colombia or the United Kingdom.
Railway Traffic Management Centres
Adif has the following resources available for managing railway traffic:
- 20 Control and Regulation Centres, 16 of them in the conventional network and 4 in the high-speed network
- One 24H Network Management Centre
- Traffic Offices
- Mobile Traffic Services (SIC)
The Railway Traffic Management Centres coordinate, organise, supervise and regulate train traffic in accordance with established transport plans.
Traffic can be managed in several ways:
High-speed lines also have advanced traffic management systems based on the DaVinci integration platform, a proprietary system specified by Adif, which enables the integration of information from other systems related to railway traffic, such as Energy Remote Control, communications, passenger information systems, Detector Remote Control, etc. This Smart Transport System uses the latest technologies.
- Remote control:
Through a Centralised Traffic Control (CTC) system that enables remote control of the signal boxes, supported by a communications network that guarantees its operation.
Coordinating the personnel distributed throughout the territory at the traffic offices, which deal with the signal boxes locally.
Communication between the Control and Regulation Centres and the trains is done through telecommunications systems operated by Adif, such as GSM-R (railway-specific GSM mobile telephony) for high-speed lines, and Train-Ground Radiotelephony, which is the system used currently in practically all the lines in the conventional network.
Signal boxes are the field installations that guarantee the safety of operations in the train routes along a line's tracks and its stations.
The Traffic Offices are staffed by employees who, locally through a signal box, manage railway traffic in their area of influence, which is usually the station where they are located and the line sections from and to the collateral stations.
The SICs are teams of people who enable additional Traffic Offices to be opened whenever required by traffic needs.
They also make train traffic compatible with construction and maintenance work on the infrastructure, while contributing to traffic safety and participating in the resolution and reporting of railway traffic incidents.
To tackle this task with the highest levels of efficiency we have worked along two strategic lines: an excellent organisation with an integrated management system and providing resources, procedures and new technologies to the centres related to railway traffic management.
24H Network Management Centre (CGRH24)
This is the top step in the railway traffic control pyramid. The infrastructure's condition and railway traffic are supervised on a permanent basis from this centre. One of its missions is to ensure compliance with the daily transport plan.
The CGRH24 knows in real time what is happening throughout the network. When an incident that may alter that plan is detected, the CGRH24 takes over its management to minimise its consequences. Since it is a multidisciplinary platform on which all of the organisation's operating areas are represented (traffic, infrastructure maintenance, stations, civil defence and communication), the incidents are solved globally.
Quarterly campaigns are also coordinated for preventing weather-related incidents, and special transport operations are planned for certain events or in periods of high railway demand.
Adif has become a benchmark in technological innovation by incorporating the latest technologies and, in parallel, developing other technologies of its own to face the challenge posed by high-speed railways, thus promoting innovation and business growth in our country.
The use of new technologies and procedures in our activities has been constant, contributing to traffic safety and providing better service to the customers.
DaVinci system. High technology in railway operations
The DaVinci system is an integrated railway traffic management platform designed for the new high-speed lines, although it can also adapt to other types of railway traffic on conventional lines with conventional and narrow gauges, metro lines, tramways, etc.
This is one of the most advanced railway traffic management systems in the world.
The DaVinci platform is an evolution in the multidisciplinary integration of railways, designed to provide all-round management of processes, systems and users by grouping into a single system all the previously independent subsystems.
Thus, the signalling, electrification, communications, passenger information, energy and monitoring subsystems, among others, are centralised in a system that enables the subsystems to share and exchange information and allows remote monitoring of the central Control and Regulation Centres (CRC) and other line centres.