- Mobility & Infrastructures
Intermodal transport is a growing alternative due to the configuration and evolution of modern urban centers, where public transport and the combination of different means of transport are becoming increasingly important. For its effective deployment, digitization is an extraordinarily useful element: not only at the time of the works and design of the different systems, but also during the management of urban transport means.
The combination of different systems necessarily adds greater complexity to their management. Therefore, having digital tools is key to streamline their operation, design and maintenance and, ultimately, to promote intermodality from the very conception of the projects.
In this sense, more and more countries are witnessing the popularization of the use of digital twins, which allow the virtual representation of lines and assets and enable the integration of emerging technologies, such as model management through augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), the internet of things (loT), Big Data, 5G and digitalization by drone, among others, for better management of maintenance tasks and operation of the line.
The digital twin improves the management of the operations and maintenance system of urban transport systems, making it easier to address any incident, even preventively, working first from virtual reality, so that the results will be evaluated in a more effective and sustainable way.
The digital twin will also generate new sources of information that will enrich the digital public assets of the Administration and, consequently, of the citizens, advancing transparency.
This and other technologies are revolutionizing the way infrastructure projects are conceived and executed around the world. A practical case in point is the development of Sener’s ACROT solution, which aims to monitor and reduce risks in tunnel boring machine works. Its use has already made it possible to increase safety on construction sites in Spain, Mexico and Brazil, and it is in urban or high-risk environments (such as subways and train lines, in their accesses to cities) where it deploys its full power. For example, it has been used in the section of the AVE high-speed train line near the Sagrada Familia, the Guadalajara subway (Mexico) and the Fortaleza subway (Brazil).
Intermodality and digitalization in Spain: the example of the Trambahía of Cádiz
The Metropolitan Tramway of the Bahía de Cádiz, or Trambahía, is a clear example of intermodality and the correct application of digital tools. It is an innovative project that combines urban and interurban routes. Specifically, it uses a bimodal system that allows it to circulate as a streetcar in urban areas and use the railway for access to Cadiz.
This is an important and recognized innovation in the Spanish railway infrastructure sector, connecting networks belonging to two different public administrations: the Metropolitan Railway Network of the Andalusian Regional Government and the state-owned General Interest Railway Network.
Sener has participated in the project by supervising a section of the Trambahía’s infrastructure and facilities, contributing to its entry into service and having a positive impact on a population of more than 230,000 people.
Currently, the Junta de Andalucía plans to modernize part of its infrastructure, applying new technologies. The technological equipment for the management of the digital twin of the Trambahía de Cádiz includes the use of computers, screens and peripherals, as well as a drone with two cameras and GPS, which will allow managing the BIM models and digitizing the transport infrastructure to improve the efficiency in the control and quality of the operation and maintenance service.
This initiative responds to the digitization and BIM implementation strategy of the Public Works Agency of the Andalusian Regional Government, towards an efficient technological environment, an action plan and the design of indicators, and is a clear example of how digitization helps to boost intermodality in modern urban centers.
As the case of Trambahía and many other projects confirm, to achieve this improvement it is increasingly important to apply the latest innovations in automation, AI, or cybersecurity, among other technologies.
Miguel Ángel Fernández Alonso
Director Sener Colombia SAS y Director Comercial Infraestructuras Colombia y Perú
Ingeniero de Caminos, Canales y Puertos con más de 20 años de experiencia organizando equipos de trabajo, gestionando proyectos y desarrollando negocio en el ámbito de las infraestructuras en Andalucía y Latinoamérica.