Spanish railway engineering in five continents

HIGH SPEED, SUBURBAN, METRO… INECO, THE MITMA GROUP’S TRANSPORT ENGINEERING AND CONSULTANCY COMPANY, HAS BEEN EXPORTING ITS RAILWAY EXPERIENCE ALL OVER THE WORLD FOR HALF A CENTURY.

THE FUTURE MAYAN TRAIN IN MEXICO IS THE MOST RECENT PROJECT, BUT THE SYDNEY SUBURBAN RAILWAY IN AUSTRALIA, THE “DESERT HIGH-SPEED TRAIN” IN ARABIA OR THE BRITISH HS2 ALSO BEAR THE SPANISH STAMP.

Ineco, the engineering company of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda group (MITMA), was founded more than 50 years ago as an overseas railway consultancy whose genes remain active both in its work in Spain, at the service of its shareholders Adif and Renfe, and abroad. Today, with more than 3,000 professionals it develops projects in all modes of transport, although the railway still generates the highest volume of activity.

America and Africa were the first international destinations for the company, but it now also operates in Europe, Asia and Oceania, where it was where it has a stable presence after being awarded its first contract in 2019, for the modernization of the Sydney suburban network in Australia, which has just been renewed for three and a half more years. As systems integrator, the company provides its expertise in system definition, monitoring, design and testing of the European rail traffic management system ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System).

Commitment to the railway

The company has been and still is actively involved in the development of the Spanish high-speed rail network. It is present in all phases of the railway development life cycle: planning, conceptual and constructive design, supervision and project management, operation and maintenance. In addition to this, as a comprehensive engineering company, it covers all the structural facets of said development: infrastructure, energy, signalling, safety and rolling stock. This is what sets Ineco apart. Its experience includes projects on sections, construction and environmental management, track assembly, stations, maintenance bases and workshops, electrification, traffic management, gauge changers, singular works, preparation of environmental impact studies, geotechnical engineering, etc

Ineco has also participated in the development and implementation of ERTMS, the European railway signaling system, in Spain and Europe; it has worked on the renovation and electrification of conventional lines, railway accesses to ports, metro and tramway projects, integration in urban areas, railway safety; supervision of the manufacture, modernisation and certification of all types of rolling stock; restoration of historic stations, renovation and construction of stops and suburban stations and works to improve accessibility.

In the field of consultancy, it has carried out all kinds of studies on passenger and freight demand, gauging, and technical and economic feasibility analyses. It has also and still is collaborating with management in the preparation of technical railway regulations, sectoral plans and strategies as well as railway legislation in general.
A wealth of knowledge and experience in railway matters is incorporated in the company’s projects in the five continents.

In Europe, these include major high-speed projects such as the High Speed Two line, HS2, in the United Kingdom, where Ineco was the first Spanish engineering company to start work, in 2012, and Rail Baltica, which will connect Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (from 2019) with the rest of Europe. Turkey, where Ineco first worked in 1998, has also committed to renewing its railway network and adapting it to high speed, like the Ankara-Istanbul (2009-2013) and Samsum-Kalin lines, the latter 378 km long and pending completion. On the other hand, on the European continent, the company has contracts to support the European Commission in the implementation of ERTMS on the nine main European corridors (2014-2021).

Geotechnical  testing in Rail Balticam project

In America, one of the most recent railway contracts is the “Shadow Operation” of the Mayan Train in Mexico, a 1,500 kilometre conventional line for passengers and freight, which will cross five states -Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo. This was aimed at boosting tourism, the agricultural sector and creating employment in the region by promoting social inclusion. Ineco and its subsidiary Inecomex, Renfe and DB E&C, will work together for the next three years on the development of the project, considered a “priority” by the Federal Government. Ineco arrived in Mexico in 2004 as a partner of CAF, with the Buenavista-Cuautitlán suburban line project in Mexico City. In the Mexican capital, it is also managing the work being carried out on the extension of Metro line 12.

Tren Maya map.

Ineco also participates together with Adif and Renfe in the development of the Houston-Texas high-speed railway in the USA, where it has also carried out the commissioning and operational transition (ORAT) of new Moynihan Train Hall by converting the former listed building for its incorporation into Penn Station, which has just been inaugurated in New York.

In the Southern Cone, the company has been operating from the beginning in practically all countries, including Bolivia, Argentina, Honduras, Guatemala and Chile, where it has just completed a project for new railway regulations for EFE, the National Railway Company (Empresa Nacional de Ferrocarriles). In Chile, the company is working on the modernisation of rolling stock for the Santiago metro, as well as on the supervision of new trains manufactured by CAF for the Quito suburban lines, which have also been operating since 2011 for Metro de Medellin, in Colombia.

In Asia, work has also been carried out on high-speed tracks in Saudi Arabia, where the so-called “High-Speed Train of the desert” has been operating since October 2018, connecting the 440-kilometre journey between the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, with trains specially designed by Talgo and adapted to the harsh desert conditions. Ineco, Adif and Renfe are part of the Al Shoula consortium, which was awarded the international 12-year contract in 2012 for the construction of the second phase, operation and maintenance of the Haramain High Speed Railway, the country’s first high-speed line and the largest industrial contract for Spanish companies abroad to date.

 

Ineco expeerts in higha speed rail project in Saudi Arabia

Several Asian countries have high-speed railway projects in different stages of development, such as India, for which Ineco has carried out technical and financial feasibility studies for the future 1,500-km high-speed New Delhi-Calcutta line, the 772-km Bombay-Nagpur line, in 2016, and the 135-km Haldia -Howrah line, in 2012. All of them are included in the Diamond Quadrilateral, an 11,000-kilometer high-speed railway network that will connect India’s four major cities of Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Delhi.

Recent work on the African continent includes the inspection and overhaul of a batch of trains from Mallorca in 2020, which have been redesigned to return to service on Nairobi’s suburban network for at least 25 years. In 2019, the metropolitan transport authority of the Kenyan capital acquired 11 diesel railcars from SFM (Serveis Ferroviaris de Mallorca), which had decommissioned them after electrifying its network. Ineco was responsible for Renfe’s inspection and pre-testing of the trains, which were sent to Kenya by sea.

Rolling stock monitoring in Kenia