Sunday, December 5

The first freight train between Alicante and London has to use tracks from the 1950s due to the delay in the Mediterranean Corridor

And once again the province rows alone. The Ministry of Transport once again forgets about Alicante and this was evident in the summit held the day before yesterday by Minister Raquel Sánchez and President Ximo Puig in Valencia where the head of Infrastructure announced a multimillion-dollar investment to bury the AVE and the Euromed as it passes through the capital of the Turia, and advanced that Renfe’s “low cost” train, the Avlo, will begin to circulate between València and Madrid in March 2022, coinciding with Las Fallas, without dedicating a word to the future Alicante-Madrid railway link, despite the fact that it is about a corridor with two million passengers a year.

It also passed by as far as the railway connection of the port of Alicante with the corridor. The Ministry will allocate more than 377 million euros in 2022 to promote works on the Mediterranean Corridor such as the La Encina-Xátiva-València section, the adaptation to the standard gauge in the València-Castellón-Vandellós section and the development of intermodal and logistics terminals, as well such as access to ports such as Castellón and the Valencia-Fuente de San Luis terminal, but there is not one euro for the Port of Alicante.

Regarding the railway connection of Alicante and Elche with the airport, it continues in the eternal process of the informative study, as well as the Tren de la Costa, projects both of which in their day they even talked about routes.

The delay in connecting the port with the Mediterranean Corridor in international gauge continues to weigh down the province for the benefit of València and Sagunto. At the end of 2015, the Port recovered the railway terminal that connects the Iberian gauge with Madrid, but lacks a link to the Mediterranean Corridor, when the goal was to move 200,000 containers per year by 2022, 40,000 more than at present.

The Ministry of Development has only executed, for the moment, that the link is in conventional gauge, so llarge European freight trains cannot access the docks. The most affected economic sectors are marble, toys, textiles, construction and everything related to the delivery of supplies to the Canary Islands. The international gauge link would cost 15 million euros.

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The fact is that the Ministry of Transport does have in its plans the rail link with the port but without rendering it black on white, or, what is the same, paralyzed. The execution was divided into three sections, two of which must be carried out by the Ministry of Transport, and the third, already within the port, will have to be financed by the Alicante Port Authority. The work will not finish before 2025, the year in which the entire corridor is expected to finish, long delayed in the sections between Andalusia and Murcia. In general, the connection will be made by building a third rail for AVE-gauge freight, parallel to the double-track platform for passengers between the nucleus of La Encina and Alicante with sidings for trains of 750 meters in length in Sax, Elda and Monforte.

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