Madrid has suddenly become coy about stating a date for when the Almería – Murcia AVE line will be operational, according to a strange piece in La Voz. Strikes me the writer was dying to say something, but his editor, with an eye on his political masters, held him back. No doubt the brave boys working at out local version of Pravda will slip something under the censors at some point.
The National Ministry in charge has promised a final date for a number of rail connections, such as Alicante in 2012, Murcia 2014, and all of Galicia by 2015 (Mr Minister is from Galicia, it seems). Almería is not in the list.
La Voz says that a document states that until the soterramiento is finished (the railway tunnel from the station near the docks to the outskirts) the AVE to Murcia can’t be connected as the new lines can’t get to the estación intermodal. Currently, it doesn’t look as if the soterramiento is going to even start before 2015, so that’s the AVE line to Murcia out of the window. Almería townhall says -in their own words – “optimistically it will be 5 years plus to sort the soterramiento paperwork and financing out”.
BUT, Mr Griñán from Seville says that all Andalucian capitals will be interconnected by AVE by 2013. Which means the Granada – Almería line will be finished and running before the Almería – Murcia line even gets going.
So – why have they just announced that they are going to start the Los Gallardos – Vera line work later this year? And then Vera – Cuevas / Los Gallardos – Sorbas? Plus the Níjar bit? Will the line terminate in Níjar or will it connect directly to Granada bypassing Almería? Or will the line just sit there, empty? And how will the Granada – Almería bit get to the station without going underground or ripping up a large piece of the city?