ADIF already puts new ASFA balises in ERTMS transition areas

Engineers from the Spanish Infrastructure Manager ADIF have already stepped up their measures to enforces automatic speed reduction in so-called blind spots or dangerous areas. The measures include the placement of three new ASFA balise at Angrois – the curve just before Santiago where a train derailed on the 24th of July – which do enforce a braking intervention if the train exceeds the maximum allowed speed on that place. The measures have been taking under pressure of the Ministry of Public works, who announced earlier that an accident like the one in Santiago “can never happen again”.

All balises appear to have been placed in the direction of Santiago, exiting the high speed line and entering conventional track. The first balise has been placed at km 79.769, imposing a speed reduction of 160 km/h. The second one has been placed at km 81.669 (three kilomters before the curve where the accident took place) imposing a speed reduction to 60 km/h and finally two balises imposing maximum speeds of 30 km/h – one of which is just an announcement balise, 300 meters before.

Sign in Santiago curve for new speed reduction

The construction is a compromise between the functionality of ERTMS and the functionality of ASFA, or at least the way it has been used before the accident earlier this month. ADIF is also looking at other locations throughout the country where a similar risk may occur, in other words transition areas between ERTMS and ASFA.

RENFE in the mean time is revising driver training, protocols for onboard staff, communication protocols and management procedures to improve safety.