Ideal sources say that the central government is negotiating the breaking of the contract to design and build the Vera AVE station.
Makes sense – if they’re not going to build the AVE, why pay the architects to float around doing nothing and being paid for it?
The breaking of the contract would allow for the dissolution of the temporary construction company created by the engineers and architects to design and build the station, meaning the government wouldn’t have to pay the annual penalties.
ADIF, the railways operator, told IDEAL they had no knowledge about the breaking of the contract, and the architects refused to comment. The Ministry of Development, in charge of the project, wouldn’t comment, but a PP spokesperson said that even if the contract was broken, it didn’t mean the station wouldn’t be built in the future – “a new contract can always be signed” they reassure us.
The trouble is that the Ministry is also studying changing the AVE in Almeria to be a single line rapid speed line (rather than the two line high speed AVE). If this new plan goes ahead (and it’s only a study at the moment) then we probably won’t have a Vera station at all.
Central government must be right in cancelling the unneeded high speed rail station in Vera. It would only be a status symbol for a few dignitaries anyway. Spain is still in serious debt as can be seen by the empty roads, empty shops and non existent building industry. Until the country starts getting back on its feet and providing jobs for its people, luxuries such as this must be put on a back burner for about 10 years.
In the greater scheme of things, this is actually a sensible step. The AVE route was always a bit awkward. There was a lot of confusion over the technical details of the route (as the discussions over on the infrastructure forums at SkyScraperCity show in great detail) and it doesn’t seem to have been very well thought out.
From the point of view of the whole network, a link between the Murcia-Aguilas line and the Almeria line is absolutely essential. Without it, the Mediterranean corridor has a gaping hole, making traffic between Valencia, Murcia and Andalucia take absurd diversions of hundreds of kilometres, so I am relieved that the troubled AVE plans are being ditched, so at least there can be the possibility of a more modest but workable plan actually getting off the ground, though it is absurd and borderline criminal that hundreds of millions has been wasted on infrastructure which may never see use.