Strengthening Spanish rail links

The construction of a 53 km stretch of high-speed rail track between Antequera and Granada will help to transform transport links in southern Spain by cutting journey times and by opening up previously isolated regions.

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This is phase one of the Antequera-Granada High-Speed Line project, which has been designed to use an international line gauge to ensure full integration into the trans-European transport network, the so-called TEN-T programme. Specifications will also match standards for rail interoperability as laid down in EU Directive 96/48/EC, which will ease the circulation of high speed trains though the various European railway networks.

The work will ensure continuity of the Seville-Almeria high-speed rail link and provide key connections to southern Spain. In fact, the new rail line will form part of the high-speed rail network for the Iberian Peninsula, the Andalucia Cross-Rail Link, one of the TEN-T programme’s priority routes. The Antequera-Granada line will also complement the Cordoba-Malaga High-Speed Line project as the two routes will be linked at the Bobadilla Junction.

The project will provide extensive infrastructure works including earth moving, tunnels, drainage, the building of railway structures, and the restoration of services and easement. Construction of cross connections will allow the line to be crossed by roads. The work will lead to the provision of a high-speed double track capable of carrying trains that can reach a maximum speed of 300 km/hour.

Embracing technology

Project goals include reducing travelling times and increasing rail safety by harnessing advanced traffic management technologies and automated train driving systems. The aim is to make rail a more competitive mode of transport for those travelling between Madrid and southern Spain, especially those journeying from cities en route such as Cordoba, Seville and Malaga.

By reducing travel times the project will strengthen cohesion between Spanish regions while furthering the development of those areas that have been previously isolated by mountainous terrain. There will be environmental benefits as well because the project promises substantial reductions in fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and noise and air pollution.

Jobs boost

During the implementation phase, this project will provide employment for 2 500 people. More than 700 jobs are likely to be created when the line becomes operational. On completion, two public corporate bodies will be responsible for infrastructure management: Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias (ADIF) will oversee public management, administration and construction of railway infrastructure; Renfe-Operadora will provide railway services.

Total and EU funding

The project “High Speed Railway Line Antequera-Granada - Platform Phase 1” has a total eligible budget of EUR 405 791 723, with the Cohesion Fund and European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 324 633 379 for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date