President of RENFE, Julio Gómez-Pomar, elaborated on the ERTMS problems of Alvia. He says that “on the hybrid trains S730 (formerly S130) we started to install the more advanced version of ERTMS. On the Madrid-Galicia line there are two sections that have ERTMS: Madrid-Olmedo (Valladolid) and Ourense-Santiago. When we started testing we saw that there were problems on both sections which we call transition failures: ERTMS ordered a brake intervention when the system was not supposed to do so. On the section Madrid-Olmedo the problem was eventually solved and the trains work fine with ERTMS now. But on the Ourense-Santiago section the problem persisted. We talked to the suppliers Bombardier to fix the problem. In the mean time, Adif authorized to disconnected ERTMS on that section and use ASFA to a maximum speed of 200 km/h. This is normal procedure.
The supplier asked for a few months to work on the problem and we are about to start the tests. We will do that at night, when the track is closed for commercial operation. The reason why Avant is suffering from these problems and Alvia no is that in the Alvia trains we wanted to install the latest version of ERTMS, which has been giving the specified problems. On the Avant trains we have used an earlier version which has been working.”
In the interview to El Pais, RENFE says that the plan is to have entire Madrid-Galicia line on high speed by 2018.