The European Union has this week granted an additional 72 million euro to Spain to go towards two transport projects along the so-called “Mediterranean corridor”.
The projects to be financed with funds reallocated from other areas where the money has not been used and will contribute to the implementation of interoperability of high speed rail services between 2014 and 2015
The first project, valued at just over 4.8 million, is for project and viability studies, with consideration into the problem of Spanish trains operating on a different sized track to European neighbours, such as France. spain operates on a track system known as “Iberian gauge”, which is different to the European standard, known as the “UIC”.
Therefore, Europe believes that the conversion of the Spanish rail network to a standard is of the upmost importance, with funding going towards studies to facilitate the final design for the implementation of European standard between Castellbisbal, to the northwest of Barcelona, and Murcia, on a 340 kilometre stretch of double lines and 230 kilometres of single lines.
The second project, which has received 68.1 million euro, includes work aimed at implementing the UIC on a stretch of the railway network between Castellbisbal and Nudo de Vilaseca, near Tarragona. The work will cover the necessary adjustments to the facilities and lines to operate trains of up to 750 meters in length, and of mixed Iberian and UIC gauge. This section of track covers 90 kilometres of double lines and 7 kilometres of single line railway, with access to the port of Tarragona which will also improve shipping connections for freight.
A statement promoting the viability of the work says that, “The project will promote interoperability and intermodality of the Spanish rail network, making rail transport more economically viable for commercial operators”. Both initiatives will be overseen by the Executive Agency for Trans-European Transport Networks and will be completed in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/41030/