Why hold the 5th European Congress in Tenerife?
Posted on 6th March 2023 at 11:32
Mainspring's 2023 European Light Rail Congress will be held in the stunning setting of La Laguna, Tenerife.
You may be wondering - why Tenerife? And you would not be alone; it is one of our frequently asked questions.
Well, other than it is beautiful, full of gorgeous flora and fauna, has an abundance of sunshine and some fine beaches, it is also the home of the multiple Global Light Rail Award winning Metrotenerife (more on them later). So, we decided to create this list of the five main reasons why we think Tenerife is a great choice...
1. Tenerife's location and climate:
Tenerife is located just off the North African Coast and, thanks to its year-round temperature climate, enjoys well over 2500 hours of sunshine a year. There are beaches, the unique plants and animals as well as the highest point in Spain - the volcanic Mount Teide. If you are a delegate of the Congress - you can book here - you will have the opportunity to scale this impressive natural wonder in one of our exclusive networking outings.
The nature of the climate also lends itself to the cultivation of grapes. Tenerife has in fact five wine regions - something very unusual for such a small island - but its volcanic soil and abundance of micro-climates mean that it is able to produce a wide-range of wine flavours. In fact, if you are a delegate of the Congress, you can be our guest at the famous Casa-Del-Vino as part of our exclusive evening networking opportunities. Once you are there, you can enjoy some stunning views of the Atlantic, taste local cuisine and sample local wines.
2. Tenerife's tramway and public transport system - Tranvia de Tenerife and Metrotenerife.
Tenerife is a small but densely populated island (978,000 local population) and, with a huge influx of tourists to the island every year, this traditionally led to congestion being a huge problem in Tenerife's coastal towns. To try and resolve this issue, in 2001 the Government of Tenerife (Cabilio Insular de Tenerife), created an agency called 'Metropolitano de Tenerife' whose main remit was to develop effective ways to reduce congestion, pollution and to promote the use of public transport.
Fast-forward to 2007 and the first tramline opened in Santa Cruz, the island's capital. It proved to be instantly popular and (it is estimated) that it removed 10,000 cars from Tenerife's roads in its first year of operation alone. The hilly terrain, the planning of the routes past two hospitals and the university, its convenience, its linked public transport services and its environmental benefits, led to the opening of a second line in 2009 and there are plans for many more lines to open in the future.
Currently, Metrotenerife carries around 15 million passengers each year (via its Alstom Citadis fleet) and are not only committed to providing not only operational excellence but are also an innovator in terms of sustainability and technological solutions - many of which will be on show at the European Light Rail Congress in March 2023. You can access the full schedule of all our speakers and the topics that they will address here. In addition, all delegates will also have the chance to explore the Metrotenerife depot and see for yourself how they operate.
Don't miss out on that chance!
Given that the European Light Rail Congress is centred upon the theme of technology, sustainability and innovation within the light rail world, it makes sense then that we have chosen to work so closely with Metrotenerife who are pioneers of making use of technology to benefit not only their customersbut also the planet.
One technological development which aims to significantly increase passenger safety is that of the SIMOVE system. Born out of several incidents on the Spanish mainland where light rail vehicles overturned on curves due to excessive speeds, SIMOVE was developed by Metrotenerife over three years ago in order to mitigate this risk.This safety innovation allows the operator to continuously monitor and control the speed of its vehicles through GPS monitoring. If an excess of speed is detected, SIMOVE alerts the driver and, if he/she does not respond, automatically applies the emergency brake to stop the tram or train.
After a series of successful tests, SIMOVE was installed across the entirety of Metrotenerife's fleet at the beginning of 2016. Ex-Managing Director of Metrotenerife, Andrés Muñoz de Dios, stated that 'we are committed to SIMOVE as it is an additional system that significantly increases transport safety.' It is currently being trialled in Manchester's Metrolink and demonstrates its award-winning dedication to not only sustainability but also customer experience.
One of Metrotenerife's Alstom Citadis fleet in action
4. Removable insulating chamber for grooved rails -
Global Light Rail Award Winner 2021
A recent award-winning project which has garnered a great deal of interest is its removable track insulation chamber.
Developed in conjunction with ArcelorMittal, this innovative idea won a Global Light Rail Award in 2021. Not only does it speed up the activity of track renewals by removing a lot of the unnecessary waste associated with breaking out the surrounding road surface, this patented method has demonstrated a remarkable 40% cost saving over traditional methods.
The system is also compatible with all major rail and fastening systems and is easy to incorporate into a variety of surface coverings. Its use of recycled rubber tyres also means that it contributes to reducing environmental waste.
5. Green Bonds and Metrotenerife:
Still carrying a significant debt for the finance of its construction over 15 years ago, the tramway in Tenerife has been a huge success in driving modal shift and improving public transportation. Yet, as its structure did not allow much headroom for expansion, the team recently took the visionary approach of refinancing using 'Green Bonds', allied to its achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals proposed by the United Nations.
Using a process usually reserved for a small handful of state-backed railways- this had never been attempted by a small tramway before. Metrotenerife is currently the first (and only) rail operator in Spain, and one of the few in the world, to issue Green Bonds; this involved entering the financial markets to raise funds with a new set of bonds committed exclusively to finance or re-finance low-carbon and climate-resilient projects.Approved in 2021, the lower interest rates secured as part of the 'Green Bonds' initiative have seen the system reduce its liabilities by an amazing 30% over the next 15 years thus freeing up capital for further investment.
Metrotenerife will be discussing their 'Green Bond' program as well as a wider panel debate will be held on the finance and funding of LRT systems - don't miss out on your chance to engage with this vital aspect of business moving forward. Check out the full schedule here to see what else our Congress has to offer our delegates...
In conclusion then...
As you can see, Metrotenerife and their commitment to sustainability, innovation and forging new paths in the light rail world is truly the main attraction of our holding the 2023 Congress in Tenerife.
Of course, the beautiful scenery, culture and weather do not hurt either...
We look forward to seeing you there!
Remember: This is only a small taste of what Mainspring can offer you terms of knowledge and data.
We are THE experts in light rail across the globe. Whether you need information regarding entering the marketplace, positioning yourself within the market or exploring the latest opportunities across the LRT world, we can help. Contact us today by clicking here!
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