Spain launches more tenders for Mediterranean Corridor upgrades
The Spanish Ministry of Transport (MITMA) allocated 18,3 million euros for the drafting of the projects for the renovation and conditioning of the Granada-Almería railway line, in the south of the country. Concerning rail freight, most of the actions will revolve around adapting the railway to carry out rolling highway services and allowing 750-metre freight trains to run, as the Ministry specified.
This section, stretching for roughly 180 kilometres, is part of the TEN-T Mediterranean Corridor, which in Spain runs from Algeciras to the French border. Among other things, the main projects for this railway will define the comprehensive track renewal actions, which will involve rail, track, and sleepers. Moreover, the tunnel profiles need to be adapted to allow the electrification of the line for 25 kV AC, and a few stations to be upgraded to accommodate longer freight trains and faster passenger convoys. The contract has been divided into five lots: Granada-Iznalloz, Iznalloz-Fonelas, Fonelas-Fiñana, Fiñana-Fuente Santa, and Fuente Santa-Almería. In addition to these actions, MITMA said that Spanish infrastructure manager Adif will draft the project for the removal of level crossings along the whole Granada-Almería.
The Moreda Railway Variant
The actions for this railway also include the creation of a new section, the Moreda Railway Variant, which will avoid the passage of freight trains around the city of Granada. For this project, announced in the summer of 2022, the cost has been set at 615 million euros. This is also the package that includes the funds for the migration of the Granada-Almería line from Iberian to standard gauge and the deployment of ERTMS Level 2.
Spain’s plan along the Mediterranean Corridor
In order to comply with the TEN-T directives, Spain needs to create a standard gauge network along the Atlantic and Mediterranean Corridors. Recent developments concerning the latter include a new southern rail access to the port of Barcelona and the implementation of 750-metre sidings between Zaragoza and Tarragona. Additionally, Spain is also working to create a standard gauge connection to Algeciras, the country’s largest port.