The port of Alicante connects to the Mediterranean Corridor. The Ministry of Transport has finally included the project in the infrastructure to connect the port with the Mediterranean Corridor, whose execution has been divided into three sections, two of which will be the responsibility of the Ministry of Transport, and the third, already within the port, must be financed by the Alicante Port Authority. The works will not finish before 2025, the year in which the entire corridor is expected to finish, very late in the sections between Andalusia and Murcia. In general terms, the connection will be made by building a third rail for AVE-gauge freight, parallel to the double-track platform for passengers between the core of La Encina and Alicante with sidings for 750 meter long trains in Sax, Elda and Monforte.
The drafting of the project, according to sources from the Ministry, is already advanced but its urgency is “relative”, since in order for it to be operational from an economic point of view, the entire corridor to Catalonia needs to be operational, something that will not happen before 2023.
«This month the training of the train drivers of the AVE between Elche and Madrid begins»
Furthermore, in this section It is necessary to eliminate several level crossings whose management is being negotiated with the municipalities. The second phase, still under study, will be the connection between the Alicante station and the port also with a third lane – there is currently one in Iberian gauge – and the third will be carried out by the Alicante Port Authority, which will have to prepare its internal network so that freight trains with high speed gauge can enter and move. The 750-meter sidings may be used from the moment they are executed, both for international gauge traffic through the Mediterranean Corridor and for Iberian gauge to Madrid.
On the other hand, Valencia hosted this Thursday a new act of the Valencian Association of Entrepreneurs (AVE) to ask for speed in the works of the Mediterranean Corridor under the heading Accelerate the Corridor. Activate a whole country », which once again emphasized the need to implement this key infrastructure for the structuring of the territory and economic activity. The businessmen who form the «lobby», among which are, among others, the shipping company Vicente Boluda, Juan Roig, president of Mercadona, Javier Moll, President of Prensa Ibérica and Juan Ignacio Goirigolzarri, President of Bankia, they once again brought out the colors of the Government – the minister participated in the act Jose Luis Ábalos– when recalling the delay accumulated by the works, especially in the Algeciras-Murcia section and between Valencia and Castellón. Delays that have prevented, according to businessmen, the creation of 15,000 jobs, increase national GDP by 2.2%, and increase rail freight traffic with Europe by 29%.
“The Government must put the batteries rigorously to demand European funds”
The Ministry of Transport and Urban Mobility, (Mitma), maintains 2025 as the year for all the works to be finished. Minister José Luis Ábalos, estimated the investment in the corridor for 2021 at close to two billion euros and, with regard to the province of Alicante, assured that this month the tests of the future drivers of the AVE line between Orihuela-Elche and Madrid begin (the AVE will not arrive in Murcia until 2022), which the Ministry wants to launch for Christmas or early 2021.
The minister stressed that the corridor is “a necessity for everyone”, and that, in his opinion, the project is “aligned with what Europe is asking of us: the fight against climate change, through the decarbonisation of transport, and digitization ». Ábalos emphasized that key points of this project are the rail connection of the ports and intermodal centers, their digitization and the rail highways, which will help to reconcile the rail mode and road transport. The minister assured that with the budgets that this government has raised, there is a great opportunity to give a great boost to the Mediterranean Corridor. The president of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, claimed, for his part, that “it is time to take advantage of the opportunity of European funds. It is the alternative to properly dimension southern Europe, and to be able to connect it directly with the center of the continent, “said Puig.
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