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Portugal High Speed Rail Reduces Costs by 10%

In Portugal, Trimble Planning Solutions was commissioned to provide the Trimble® Quantm™ technology for the Lisbon to Madrid High-Speed Rail Project.


“The studies by Quantm, specialists in optimizing stretches of rail, will keep tunnel and viaduct construction to a minimum, reducing investment by 10% of the infrastructure cost.” - Ana Paula Vitorino, Portuguese State Secretary of Transport

In Portugal, Trimble Planning Solutions was commissioned to provide the Trimble® Quantm™ technology for the Lisbon to Madrid High-Speed Rail Project, a priority initiative that has the potential to become one of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) benchmarking projects. Rede Ferroviária Nacional, E.P. (REFER) operates trains that run at 220 kilometers per hour (137 miles per hour) connecting Lisbon and Porto, the two largest cities in Portugal. The government has been planning a number of high-speed rail corridors, including a high-speed rail system between Lisbon and Madrid, to link the two capitals of the Iberian Peninsula.

Jointly owned by the Portuguese state and REFER, Rede Ferroviária de Alta Velocidade (RAVE) was established by the government to plan, construct, finance, and operate the new high-speed rail lines throughout Portugal. By 2013, trains are expected to reach speeds of 350 kilometers per hour (217 miles per hour) and shuttle passengers 640 kilometers (397.6 miles) between the two cities in less than three hours.

Trimble's Quantm™ technology explored millions of alternatives and summarized the best options for RAVE, by integrating environmental, community, cultural, engineering, and cost factors into a single analysis. By applying the Quantm technology, RAVE Engineers demonstrated that all reasonable alternatives were considered and enabled RAVE to reduce the total investment of the originally preferred alternative by more than 300 million Euros.

As reported in the Portuguese Journal, Expresso: “The high-speed rail project is being reviewed by Australian firm Quantm, who specializes in alignment optimization and speed dynamic analysis. It is expected that the proposed solutions will reduce the total investment by 10%. Consequently, the cost reduction will be more than 350 million Euros.”

Due to the outstanding results obtained on the Lisbon – Madrid High-Speed Line (HSL), Trimble’s Quantm technology has since been used to study the additional four axes, completing Portugal’s vision of High-Speed Rail transportation.

The decision to use Trimble's Quantm technology ensured the high-speed rail network will be completed with reduced construction and operating costs for taxpayers and project owners. Trimble is proud to help travelers in Portugal enjoy the convenience and economy of high-speed rail at a substantially reduced cost.

Project Benefits:

  • Infrastructure cost reduction of 10%, or over $300 million Euros
  • Better decision-making by integrating environmental, community, cultural engineering, and cost factors into a single analysis