We currently have 19 km of high speed train line built in the province – the bit from Sorbas to Garrucha. It includes Spains second longest tunnel. You’ve seen it.
It was originally a “priority” for Spain, when it was announced, and it was planned to be the coastal link of the “Meditterean Corridor”, a high speed rail link up and down the Med, from Portugal to Italy.
Then the crisis hit. And, as we can plainly see, the line was abandoned.
Well, not quite. You see, a couple of years ago, Germany, supposedly desperate to finish off the line in order to secure shipments of cheap veg from North Africa, restarted the stalled project by underwriting an EU bond to finish the tunnel and the viaducts. So at least they were finished.
However, despite having completed this 19km of AVE, the rest of the line (from Almeria to Murcia) isn’t even mapped out. Seriously. They haven’t even finished planning the route.
And, La Voz de Almeria reports today, the latest EU transport plan, issued today in Brussels, has – dropped Almeria.
As you can see from the above map (click to make bigger), the AVE line down to Algeciras will jump from Cartagena – Seville, heading inland via the flat land of Albacete, and joining up with the (already built) Malaga – Madrid route.
Meaning we don’t get an AVE.
And the billion odd euros they’ve spent on that 19km (plus Spain’s second longest tunnel and a couple of bridges) is… forgotton?
Oh, it will get built, the EU assures La Voz. We just don’t know when, and it’s no longer considered to be a priority.
What, no train station in Vera? Mojácar cut off from the continent?
…and there was me thinking they might have even had the foresight to plan the trainline so it might link up with the new Corvera airport. I’m beginning to think Southern Spain should apply for an EU grant to create a new Safari park. After all, the place is awash with White Elephants….
Should have spent a fraction of the amount and gone with re-opening the Almendricos-Gaudix route as an electrified three-rail dual gauge line, and upgrading the Murcia-Alemdricos-Aguilas track to the same specification. Had that been done, Almeria could have Alvia service to Murcia and Madrid right now, and possible Euromed service to Valencia and Barcelona in the future (if the Alicante-Murcia line were to be electrified)
Alas, the section that was built doesn’t even vaguely follow the old alignment, so even if such a “low-cost” approach is adopted, the tunnel would still be left empty.