Barcelona’s extended driverless metro enters operation

15 February 2016  •  Author(s): Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Eurotransport

Europe’s longest driverless metro began operation in Barcelona following the extension of the city’s Line 9 route.

Barcelona’s extended driverless metro enters operation

Image: TMB

Barcelona has welcomed the opening of the metro’s Line 9 extension, which runs directly through the city centre connecting the university with Terminal 1 of the El Prat de Llobregat airport.

At more than 30 kilometres long and with 23 stations, Line 9 has become the longest driverless metro line in Europe.  In order to achieve driverless operation, Line 9 was equipped with Siemens automatic train control system. The wireless system for automated train control provides real-time data on train location and speed, increasing headway and passenger capacity. Siemens also supplied the Trainguard MT automatic train protection system, using wireless CBTC technology (communications-based train control).

Capacity on Line 9 driverless metro increased to 330,000 passengers per day

The 20 kilometres of track added to the initial eleven kilometres, originally opened in 2011, provide access to a further 15 stations along the route. Each station provides special platform screen doors for added safety; ensuring doors do not open until the train has stopped at the platform.

Barcelona Line 9 map

The line is designed to accommodate some 330,000 passengers daily and offers a maximum transport capacity of 165 million passengers a year. An extension of a further 18 kilometres is currently under construction. Once complete, the line will have a total length of about 50 kilometres, with only four kilometres above ground.

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