At more than 30 kilometers long and with 23 stations, Line 9 runs through the whole city of Barcelona, making it the longest driverless metro line in Europe. Five years ago, the first eleven kilometers of the line were opened for business, and now the continuation of the line to the airport is another 20.7 kilometers long. Passengers can board and exit trains at 15 stations along the way. Siemens supplied the Trainguard MT automatic train protection system, using wireless CBTC technology (communications-based train control) to achieve fully automatic operation. Special platform screen doors provide added safety: Like shuttle trains at larger airports, glass doors separate the platform from the train. The doors do not open until the train has stopped at the platform.
The line is designed to accommodate some 330,000 passengers daily and offers a maximum transport capacity of some 165 million passengers a year. Currently, a further 18-kilometer-long stretch of the line is under construction. Once complete, the line will have a total length of about 50 kilometers, only four kilometers of which are above ground.
Siemens has equipped more than 300 track kilometers worldwide with signaling systems for driverless operation, making it the market leader in this field. In addition to Line 9 in Barcelona, Siemens also operates the Line 4 in São Paulo, Brazil, and Lines 1, 14 and 4 in the Paris metro with this system.