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(S.A. de Obras y Servicios, COPASA)

Versión en castellano

Postal address Ourense, Corporate Headquarters
Rua de Paseo, 25 – Entresuelo
E-32003 Ourense. Spain
Telephone +34 988 51 11 00   Fax +34 988 37 44 79   Web  
Other addresses
Postal address Madrid, General Management
Rosario Pino, 14 - 2ª Planta
E-28020 Madrid. Spain

Telephone +34 91 579 96 80   Fax +34 91 579 96 81   Web  
Company data
Management team

Chairman and CEO, José Luis Suárez Gutiérrez. General Manager, José Luis Saravia Centeno.

Activity COPASA is recognized for its technical capacity to build large projects of great complexity around the world, and for its accredited specialization in railway works, having participated in all the high-speed axes built in Spain during the last 20 years, with 1,820 kilometers of installed track or 48 km. of open tunnels, and its own factory capable of supplying 300 thousand sleepers per year.
It is also a business group of reference in the maintenance of infrastructures and in the provision of urban, logistics and energy services, with a growing development of the green line, oriented to the environmental management of technological solutions for the integral treatment of water and waste, and to the urban services of cleaning and garbage collection.

Main products and services

The Company has five specialized business units: railways, roads, hydraulic works, buildings, and ports. It is a benchmark business group for the construction and maintenance of infrastructures and in the provision of urban, logistics and energy services.


Top products: TRACK: 1. Sand Cleaning Vehicle, operating on the Mecca-Medina HSL. 2. Works in the project “Tren del Istmo” (Mexico). AUXILIARY MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT: 3. LGT. Advanced technology for the manufacture of sleepers. 4. Course for training railway vehicle drivers.


Activities by year

1.- Significant activities in 2021:


To do the works, COPASA, the private company with the largest presence in the Consortium that built the line, uses 2 of the 3 Maintenance Bases located along the route, in which there are warehouses to store materials and spare parts, workshops and Life Camps for the accommodation of staff, both expatriate and local.
One is located at the kilometer 63 and another at 192, to maintain 307 of the total 449 kilometers of double track that the line has, also including the KAIA stretch, of 6.5 kilometers of double track. From these 2 Bases, tracks and switches in 4 of the 5 stations of the line (Mecca, Jeddah, KAIA (King Abdullah International Airport) and KAEC (King Abdullah Economic City) are also maintained.
To carry out the work, for which only spare parts for switches are received from Spain, COPASA counts at both bases and at the Jeddah Central Office with:
- 75 expatriate workers (technical and management team, administrative staff, heavy machinery operators and qualified railway operators). Eight of them also have their family living in the city of Jeddah.
- 150 workers from different countries (mainly Pakistanis, Egyptians, Filipinos, Indians, Bangladeshis, and Sri Lankans).
- 25 Saudi workers, to fulfill the Saudi commitment.
The activities that COPASA is carrying out can be classified as follows:
Auscultations.- Visual inspections to determine the quality of the infrastructure, embankments, clearings, drainage, mitigating elements for the presence of sand on the track, enclosure, acoustic screens, bridges and viaducts, and track superstructure in both ballast and ballastless slab track. Physical inspections stand out, especially important in Saudi Arabia after periods of heavy rain or sandstorms, reinforced by monthly inspections in the cabin of a commercial train. The necessary surveying works are also carried out.
Dynamic and geometric auscultations, done once a month, the first using a commercial train instrumented with accelerometers and the second with a track vehicle, equipped with TGMS measurement equipment for track geometry parameters: track gauge, longitudinal leveling, alignment, camber and warp. The results of both are considered as the basis for the maintenance of the track geometry, according to actual condition and in accordance with the applicable regulations.
Ultrasonic lane monitoring, performed once every six months with the Sperry 1900 system installed in an F350 pickup, in order to detect internal lane defects.
Preventive Maintenance.- The actions are executed according to the results of the inspections or auscultations. Once a year the entire line is registered by a Grinding machine (HARSCO RGH 30-30 stones) to detect and avoid fatigue defects derived from the rail-wheel contact.
Corrective Maintenance.- This block includes the repair of the enclosure, the repair of cracks in concrete structures, the lane grinding in the parts that are necessary, with the grinding machine, the replacement of damaged superstructure materials such as sleepers, rail, fasteners, elements or parts of track devices such as turnouts or expansion devices, etc.
COPASA was awarded the section “Ubero-Mogoñe” of the called “Tren del Istmo”, which crosses Mexico to create a rail access to the ports of Salina Cruz and Coatzacoal, which allows the Asian continent to communicate with the west coast of the United States. COPASA will rehabilitate 146 kilometres of track and correct another 56 kilometers. The project has been tendered by the Estate Administration “Ferrocarril del Istmo de Tehuantepec”.


In SPAIN, COPASA’s railway activity has been focused on two main areas: construction of track infrastructure and stations, and track maintenance on both conventional and high speed lines. In this field, main ongoing projects during 2021 were:

The contract is part of the plan of improvement actions in the entire Orense-Monforte de Lemos-Lugo line, 46 kilometres long, with the aim of modernizing this route to optimize the conditions of commercial exploitation of this infrastructure in parameters such as reliability, comfort and travel times.
The works will involve the renovation of the different elements of the road, such as the ballast and the concrete sleepers that are not multipurpose. The detours will also be replaced by more evolved ones and the existing lane by another of greater performance.
The works include the modernization and adaptation of the facilities, as well as the electrification at 25 kV in alternating current of the corridor, adapting the existing electrification in the Orense-Monforte de Lemos section and providing catenary and electrical installations to the Monforte de Lemos-Lugo

The track will be renewed between Torralba station at km 0/000, and km 13/000, as well as between km 58/480 and Soria station at km 92/704. The Torralba-Soria line has a length of about 93 km, of which those between km 12/800 and 58/450 have already been renovated.
Among the planned actions are the removal of vegetation from the surface of the slope; improving the drainage and drainage of the platform; actions to improve the infrastructure such as slope refining, arrangement of meshes in the trenches, ballast walls, and the superstructure such as lane changes and sleepers for others of greater performance; and the execution of installation gutters.
It will also include the replacement of two pontoons and the modernization of 33 level crossings with non-slip rubber system (STRAIL).

Included in the Metric Width Network of Asturias, this section begins at the Gijón-Sanz Crespo Station and extends to Laviana. The action consists of a renovation, adaptation and integral modernization of the line, which includes the correction and improvement of both the infrastructure and the superstructure of the 49 kilometres of track of the section. Actions are also undertaken to improve the drainage of the platform, the reinforcement of some tunnels, the consolidation of unstable slopes and the adaptation and improvement of the firm of several level crossings included in the section.

COPASA will undertake all the necessary actions for the elimination of three level crossings located in less than 1 km of route of the Santander-Oviedo line (kilometric points 433/350, 433/881 and 434/050) and the execution of two overpasses and a pedestrian walkway on the tracks. To complete the suppression of the level crossings, they will be lifted by means of demolition work on the pavement; restoration of the alignment of the railway line both in plan and in elevation and dismantling of the railway installations related to the level crossings. The level crossings are located in the municipality of Llanes, on the Oviedo-Santander metre gauge line.

This project is crucial to the integration of the railway in the city. The main actions are: Laying 1,636 m in Iberian gauge double track, in which 1,180 m are ballast-less slab track; underground routing of the line in 590 m.; constructing a diaphragm wall tunnel 1,166 m long; building a 9 meter-wide and 410 meter-long central platform. In addition, the current station building has been refurbished inside and expanded by extending the lobby, with new accesses from the north and south sides. A vertical access to the underground platform and its boarding area have been built, including a lift, two independent mechanical stairs and a conventional stairway. The present roof has been extended to cover all access points and it has been renewed pedestrian ways and pick-up, drop-off and set-down points for taxis and cars.

Through this work, the dual-track High Speed Line in the Mediterranean Corridor is completed at the exit from Murcia to Almería. In addition to the corresponding earth works, 5 ambitious viaducts are built, among which the 55-span and 1,650-meter Alhama Viaduct stands out. It is also considered the construction of two important stations in Librilla and Alhama (elevated over the viaduct) with buildings for passengers and parking lots.

The works consist of the construction of the railway access to the Outer Port in Ferrol, a stretch 6,374.5 m long with a single track for freight traffic, suitable for Iberian and metrical gauge traffic. The line crosses the Ferrol Estuary at A Malata inlet by a metallic latticework structure, with 5 piles in the water and a length of 299.55 m. At the end of the structure, after a short transition, is the entrance of the tunnel. It is 5,575 m long with a horseshoe section with an inner vault radius of 4.14 m, and connects with the forecourt of the Outer Port.

The improvement of the railway access to Port of Sagunto allows the connection with the Mediterranean Corridor between Valencia and Tarragona, permitting the compatibility of traffics in Iberian and standard track width, as well as highly incrementing the functionality and competitiveness of the system. With the construction of 5.6 km of new platform and the necessary structures for it (2 viaducts, 1 superior step, 2 lower steps and several transversal drainage works) are completed with the provision of a railway superstructure composed of a single electrified mixed track (on ballast, AM-VE sleepers and rail type 54E1), designed for a maximum speed of 50 km/h with ramps between 12 ‰ and 2 ‰. Signalling installations are also modified and added, introducing new cable ducts and, in addition to the special location of the project, preliminary works for the detection of possible archaeological sites can be considered as critical activities.

2.- Tecnology. I+D:
During the entire process of building the Arabian Bird, the sand became the protagonist and main weak point of the project. Once the track has been inaugurated and the journeys have begun, the company responsible for the maintenance of the route, the Spanish COMPANY COPASA, has developed a system of applied technology to prevent sand from invading the tracks and hindering the circulation of trains. The main element is a machine that has been developed in just 3 months. At the same time, additional reinforcement measures were developed, such as the placement of sand walls, horses and sand-trap trenches.
The innovative cleaning system, capable of removing up to 250 cubic meters of sand per night, was developed on two strategic points of great importance:
- Sand suction was ruled out in front of blowing, since the working yields would be affected in the small maintenance band, having to empty the aspirated material once the hopper is filled. With blowing, we have no capacity limit since we evacuate the sand directly off the trace.
- Reduction of investment costs, due to the high cost in the purchase of the suction truck, since one of our Plasser & Theurer 09-32 CSM line batters was used, whose useful life as a batter had come to an end in the construction phase of the project.
We therefore had a self-propelled machine in which a blowing equipment would be installed, so that it did not intervene in the visibility in the driving from the two cabins. The batting groups and all the components that were part of it were dismantled, to lighten weight and place in place the air compressor, source of the compressed air.
The next step was to develop the blowing carts. These are located on the wagon of the batter, making the decision to have two blowing carts to increase their performance in areas with a lot of sand or hardened sand, having a close position from the work cabin providing the ability to visualize and control the speed of advance through a portable control according to the conditions of the state of the trace.
Inside the blowing trolleys, the arrangement of the multiple nozzles was analyzed and designed by means of tests on a section of track specially built for this development, so that it expelled the sand under the rail so as not to reduce the useful life of the tread of the same by the erosion at high pressure of sand from the inside of the trace of the track in plate to the outside.
A system of elevation of the carts was also implemented by means of a gimbal system, which allows the cars to be lowered when we arrive at the point of work and in that way the circulation or transfer is done with greater safety and speed, in addition to allowing the passage of obstacles such as axle counters, beacons, ... without stopping the march.

COPASA and the University of Vigo have joined forces for the development of the Railway Inspection and Information Model (RIIM) project. It is an initiative to provide maximum safety to the superstructure of railways using the technology provided by the School of Aeronautical and Space Engineering in terms of state-of-the-art optical systems, as well as the development of algorithms that allow the automatic processing of geospatial information.
The RIIM Project will last until October 2024 with funding from the Strategic Lines of the Ministry of Science and Innovation.
The collaboration between the two entities seeks to "improve the efficiency of the inspection and maintenance of railway lines", responsibility that assumes in routes of the AVE in Spain and in the hostile weather conditions of the Arab desert.
The purpose is to obtain a prototype inspection system that contributes to improving the predictive maintenance of a railway through advanced algorithms for the processing of information from optical sensors.
Throughout the development of the project, its managers point out, "the requirements of an optical inspection system on board railway vehicles will be defined for the inspection of the elements of the track, such as sleepers, rail fixing bolts and ballast". The design of an optical, mechanical, electrical and logical inspection system that can be mounted on a vehicle-type system will also be carried out to inspect the elements of the track, such as those already mentioned of sleepers, rail fixing bolts and ballast.
Likewise, the RIIM Project also contemplates implementing and verifying a low-speed system on the test track and installing it in the industrial warehouse of the School of Aeronautical and Space Engineering of the University of Vigo The initiative also covers the design, development and validation of several sets of algorithms.
A group of them will be destined to detect the fissures of the sleepers, classify them, determine their geospatial location and parameterize their evolution and maintenance needs.
A second group of algorithms will have the function of detecting the existence or not of the bolts of fastening the rail to the sleepers, located geospatially, parameterizing the evolution of their behavior and the maintenance needs derived from them.
Finally, a third group of algorithms will aim to "detect the state of the ballast in the superstructure of a track and automatically compare its state with respect to a previous situation, always compatible with geospatial software, also predicting its future behavior and maintenance needs."
Finally, the project will test the developed inspection system, as well as the associated algorithms, at a speed of up to 25 kilometers per hour in the COPASA railway machinery park in León.

In addition to what is related to infrastructure and maintenance works, the sleeper manufacturing facility of the company LGT - Luso Galaica de Traviesas, which is the exclusive property of COPASA, is of special relevance.
Located in the Industrial Estate of Carballiño (Ourense), the manufacturing system is made of carousel with a high degree of automation designed and installed by the firm P-TEC, with which prestressed sleepers are produced with immediate demolding. The theoretical production capacity is 300,000 sleepers/year (in three production shifts).
In LGT the following models of sleepers can be manufactured for High Speed (AI-04), Conventional Tracks (PR-01) and Metric gauge (AM-02) tracks:
The main supplies made by LGT in Spain have been for the A.V Valladolid-León lines; Sale of Baños-Burgos; Madrid-Levante and Madrid-Galicia. Also for the lines of the Atlantic Axis, Lugo-Parga, Valencia-Joaquín de Sorolla and Madrid-Escorial, as well as various supplies for ADIF Maintenance and for the detours of the Mecca-Medina High Speed Line. The total number of line sleepers supplied is 1,320,000. In addition, the production of Bibloque Sleepers was undertaken for plate track for a section of the Accesses to Galicia in the province of Zamora.


Areas The growing international presence is reflected in various actions evidencing the strong diversification of COPASA´s businesses, which include projects for railways, motorways, concessions, car parks, waste collection, hospitals, stadiums, and water treatment plants. The Company is currently operating in more than 16 countries on four continents, including Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, UAE, USA, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Peru, Qatar, Sweden and Uruguay.

Certifications Quality and Environment: COPASA has the following certifications: Quality Management Systems ISO 9001:2015, Environment ISO 14001:2015, and Occupational Health and Safety OHSAS 18001, all certified by AENOR.
Recently, COPASA has successfully completed the evaluation process for the certification of its BIM management system, becoming the first Spanish constructor to grant this accreditation. It is relevant to say that, within the company´s efforts to accelerate the digital transformation and working to be a main reference for the construction sector in this aspect, it is one of the most important advances made in the last years for the technological modernization of the Company like the implementation of collaborative software platforms (SAAS) or the update of its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). All these challenges are being realized taking into account the security and privacy management system accredited with the ISO 27001 Certificate of Information Security, which is also recently acquired by the Company.
The certification in BIM, implemented by the accrediting company AENOR, was implemented in accordance with the UNE standard - EN ISO 19650: Organization and digitization of information for building and civil engineering works using BIM (Building Information Modelling) and it is implemented in Information management systems to use BIM in the development of construction assets.
COPASA, which has been certified as Main Awardee for Building and Infrastructure Projects, achieves thus the implementation of Building Information Modelling, the challenge which was born more than two years with the ambitious program “”. The technological advancement of the Company, through the adoption of BIM methodology, implies a greater improvement in communication, a quicker flow of information and the total transparency between the agents involved in the design, construction and final management process of a project, in addition to become a base and an inflexion point for the transformation of all the areas of the Company pointing to Construction 4.0.

Turnover (2021) 321 million Euro.
No. of employees (2021) 1,500.
Net revenues Work portfolio (2021): 1,875 million Euro.
Activities Infraestructure, Maintenance, Others.
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