Thales, 60 years as pioneer in Spanish rail solutions

Posted: 28 March 2011 | | No comments yet

Thales commemorates 60 years of business in Spain, from the first Centralised Control Centre to the first high-speed Madrid-Valencia line…

Thales commemorates 60 years of business in Spain, from the first Centralised Control Centre to the first high-speed Madrid-Valencia line...

Thales’s railway signalling activity in Spain commemorates 60 years of business! It all began in 1951, when the Railway Signalling Department of Marconi Española, founded several years earlier, was tasked with installing five Centralised Control Centres to manage 500 km of RENFE’s railway network, as well as providing signalling systems for 154 stations.

Ever since then, Thales has continued to be a reference in the history of Spanish rail. Over the past two decades, Thales has contributed significantly to one of the major changes in railway traffic, with the installation of high-speed network security systems. The first highspeed Madrid-Seville line was launched, enabling the Spanish railway network to become a European leader, in terms of both extension and technological capacity. Today, Thales supplies 2000 km of Spain’s high-speed network, and guarantees the safety of more than 100 million passengers travelling on this network.

The Spanish teams have not only contributed to the development of the high-speed network, but have also put their skills to good use in the conventional network. Today, the Centralised Control Centres installed by Thales monitor more than 2500 km of the network, more than 3000 km are supplied with single and double-track automatic locking systems, more than 500 electronic interlocking systems have been installed and more than 600 level crossings are equipped with automatic protection installed by Thales, which guarantee the safety and flow of traffic on the Spanish railway network.

An undisputed leader in Signalling, Telecommunications and Security, the Spanish centre is also gaining ground in the area of maintenance services. The company has therefore become an international Competence Centre, enabling its technology and innovation capabilities to be brought to other countries such as Turkey, Mexico and Algeria, with an export turnover of 15%.

The Spanish teams are already preparing for tomorrow’s challenges and are continuing their efforts with a view to extending the high-speed network and modernising the conventional network, all the while complying strictly with their obligations in terms of quality and delivery times. Developing the Urban Rail business activity (metros, light metros and tramways) and exporting, mainly to the Middle East, Latin America and North Africa, also feature among the company’s priorities.

In 60 years, Thales has become a major player in the history and development of Spanish railway traffic, playing a key role in the main milestones that have brought Spain to be one of the world leaders in the development of high-speed railway networks.

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