Information published on 30 August 2011 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 252.

Spain: Moving towards the opening of the Barcelona – French border High Speed line

  • News from UIC members

On 27 July Spain’s Minister of Public Works and Transport Jose Blanco attended the breakthrough of the Sants-La Sagrera Tunnel on the Madrid – Barcelona – French border High Speed Line. The completion of the drilling of the Sants-La Sagrera tunnel, with an investment of more than 179.3 million EUR, represents a crucial step towards the execution of this key infrastructure, for the development of railway transport in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain and Europe. The completion of the excavation represents a leap forward in the execution of the HSL, which reaffirms the commitment of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport of opening the Barcelona – Figueres section in 2012, completing the first direct high speed passenger link between the cities on the line and France.

This is also a milestone of extraordinary importance, in addition to the opening in late 2010 of 75 km of the new infrastructure between Nudo de Mollet and the logistics centre of Girona and between the Figueres-Vilafant station and the Figueres-Perpignan international section, which are used, together with the sections on which the third track has been installed, for the first freight cross-border corridor with international standard gauge between the Port of Barcelona and the French border.

The HSL will make Spain part of the future Trans-European high speed network thanks to an infrastructure that includes the most advanced technologies both in the construction phase and the operation phase, fully integrated in the environment, sustainable from a socioeconomic and environmental point of view, and safer and more reliable for transport and passengers.

The Sants-La Sagrera tunnel will enable the establishment of a through-line, crossing the centre of Barcelona, with two stations, Sants and the future La Sagrera station. Rail services, both in international standard gauge and Iberian gauge, will be reorganised, as the new tunnel will take on an important part of the medium and long distance traffic and this will favour the increase of suburban train frequency.

ADIF has already started work on the structure and station entrances, with an investment of more than 589.2 million EUR. The installations have been designed for the transit of more than 100 million passengers a year to become a first level capacity hub, connecting high speed rail with suburban, regional, metro, bus, taxi networks, as well as private vehicles connected directly with the main roads.

European Funding:

  • The Madrid-Barcelona-French border High Speed Line has been financed by the Cohesion Funds with an aid of 3,389.3 million EUR
  • The TEN-T (Trans European Network) is providing 70.9 million EUR
  • From 2007-2013, the implementation of ERTMS on the Barcelona-Figueres section will be co-financed through the TEN-T funding, with 10.6 million EUR. The EIB is also participating in the funding of this project
  • Investment in the Barcelona-Figueres section of the Madrid-Barcelona-French border HSL amounts to approximately 4,200 million EUR.

(Source: ADIF)