Proejct for standard gauge to Spain’s largest port gets underway
Spanish infrastructure manager (IM) Adif awarded the contract for the supply and transportation of the rail sleepers which will be laid along the third track planned to be built between Bobadilla and Ronda. The third track will run from Bobadilla all the way to Algeciras, Spain’s largest port, and will accommodate both Iberian and standard gauge traffic.
The 73,350 sleepers will be placed on the track between Bobadilla and Ronda, which stretches for roughly 43 kilometres in the Malaga province. The contract was awarded to a Temporary Business Association made up of three Spanish companies active in the railway sleepers business: Andaluza de Traviesas, Prefabricados Delta, and Prefabricaciones y Contratas. The tender was awarded for 11 million euros, as Spanish press agency Europa Press mentioned.
The upgrade of the line between Bobadilla and Ronda also entails adapting the size of the overpasses to the future electrification of the line, reinforcing the infrastructure and other points of the route, and the drainage system. For these actions, tenders for 62,8 million euros have already been put out by Adif. Other than the tender for the Bobadilla-Ronda line, Adif is working on the upgrade of the Ronda-Algeciras as well. In June, the Spanish IM said it would invest 18,3 million euros to upgrade the existing infrastructure along this line. The main actions here are the implementation of an Automatic Train Protection system, fixed communications, LED light signalling, and an update of the energy system. The first sub-section, between Ronda and San Pablo, is complete, while the remaining two (San Pablo-Almoraima and Almoraima-Algeciras) are still in the initial phase.
Algeciras-Zaragoza rolling highway
The line between Algeciras and Bobadilla is part of a larger project to create a so-called rolling highway between the port city and Zaragoza, in the northeast. The first feasibility studies for this initiative were carried out in March 2022. In October that year, Adif secured 32 million euros from the country’s General State Budget for 2023. This infrastructure is especially important for the rail freight sector. Other than creating a standard gauge connection to Spain’s largest port, the Algeciras-Zaragoza rolling highway, or parts of it, will be part of two TEN-T Corridors. The whole line is in fact part of the Mediterranean Corridor, while the Algeciras-Madrid section is part of the Atlantic Corridor which then runs to Valladolid, for which Spain seems to have big plans as well.