The new section, which has involved an investment of €898m, starts at Zamora station with standard-gauge double track throughout the route except for the first 8 kilometres which are aligned with mixed-gauge single track that integrates both high-speed and conventional networks on a single platform.
The route is designed for speed limits of up to 350 km/h, with 2×25 kV 50 Hz alternating-current electrification, ERTMS Level 2 and Asfa traffic control systems, and a GSM-R mobile communications system.
Main works include the construction of 14 viaducts, nine tunnels, the Train Overtaking and Parking Post at Tábara, the Railroad Switch at Otero de Bodas, the new Sanabria station and a gauge changer at Pedralba de la Pradería.
Among the highlights of the route are the viaducts of Puebla Este (756 metres) and Tera river (645 metros), as well as the tunnels of Puebla (1,563 metres) and Otero (1,144.46 metros).
The commissioning of this new 110-km section of high-speed line reduces travel times between Madrid and the major Galician cities. In addition, the new section allows for a higher frequency of traffic along the route, supported by the introduction of new services such as the new Madrid-Santiago-Pontevedra connection, which has a frequency of eight trains per day, four trains per direction.
Making the most of the synergies of travel times and direct services, connections to several origins and destinations are introduced via Medium Distance or Avant services that connect with Alvia trains in Orense and Santiago de Compostela and guarantee the provision of the service. As of today, A Coruña and Lugo will also increase their connections per direction.