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ADIF starts, this Monday, the works of the AVE Murcia-Almería and interrupts the railway traffic between Cartagena-Madrid.

The Murcia-Almería section and the branch to Águilas will have standard gauge and the most modern signalling and telecommunications systems.
The Archena-Fortuna station has been fitted out to facilitate passenger transfers.
Renfe has established an alternative transport plan to guarantee passenger mobility, which can be consulted on its website.
This is an essential milestone for the development of the Mediterranean Corridor, as both cities will be connected to the rest of Spain’s high-speed network and to Europe.

Adif AV starts the second phase of works to advance in the direct connection between Murcia and Almería
The Murcia-Almería section and the branch to Águilas will have standard gauge and the most modern signalling and telecommunications systems.

The Archena-Fortuna station has been fitted out to facilitate passenger transfers.

Renfe has established an alternative transport plan to guarantee passenger mobility, which can be consulted on its website.

Adif Alta Velocidad (Adif AV) will start next Monday, February 28th, the second phase of the works to advance in the creation of the first direct railway connection in history between Murcia and Almería, with the clear challenge of creating a powerful and modern railway network in this sector of the Mediterranean arc.

With an estimated investment of more than 3 billion Euro, this is an essential milestone for the development of the Mediterranean Corridor in an area of great socio-economic potential, since both capitals will be connected with the rest of the high-speed network in Spain and, by extension, with Europe, through the TEN-T trans-European network.

Due to their complexity and in order to speed up the development of the new infrastructures, these actions are incompatible with the maintenance of passenger rail traffic between Murcia del Carmen and Alcantarilla.

The works of the new connection, which extends along 106.9 km in the Region of Murcia, are being carried out simultaneously at several points, with different actions, such as the lifting of tracks, stockpiling of materials and other works, in the same way that was undertaken in phase 1, which began last October 1st.

This will ensure that the new network in this area will be a symbol of modernity, taking a qualitative leap forward to reach the levels of the major European networks, and becoming a high-performance international node.

One of the main objectives is to equip the Murcia-Lorca-Pulpí-Águilas section with standard gauge and the most modern signalling and telecommunications systems, as well as eliminating level crossings.

Between Murcia and Pulpí a double-track platform will be created for standard gauge and electrified track, and from there the lines will branch off to Almería and Águilas, the latter being the town where the train will also arrive on standard gauge and electrified track.

Interruption of traffic to speed up the development of new infrastructures.

In this way, Adif AV faces one of the greatest challenges of recent years and has made a great planning effort, even more so when working in dense urban centres and with the need to act on the existing railway platform in almost the entire route.

After studying all the possible options, it was concluded that the best way to solve the technical problems and make the most of the European funds of the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism (RRM) was to reduce as much as possible the execution times of the works and work simultaneously on several sections, making it essential to interrupt rail traffic.

Moreover, this reduction in the timeframe will benefit both the population and the productive fabric of the affected areas, as well as the development of the Mediterranean Corridor itself, since it will speed up and facilitate the entry into service of this essential section of the corridor.

Alternative Transport Plan

On the occasion of this second phase of the works, Renfe has established an alternative transport plan for the long-distance trains that link the Region of Murcia with Madrid, via Chinchilla, as of 28 February.

The journey from Cartagena, Torre-Pacheco, Balsicas-Mar Menor and Murcia and the rest of the intermediate stations will be made by bus to the Archena-Fortuna station, which has been set up as a transfer terminal. The company has scheduled a bus service in both directions, direct and with intermediate stops, to guarantee passenger mobility.

Journeys between Archena and Albacete will be made by train on an Intercity service, with a second transfer at Albacete station to connect with the AVE services that connect the capital of La Mancha with Madrid.

On the other hand, the Intercity Madrid- Águilas service that runs on weekends (Friday and Sunday) will travel by bus from Águilas to Archena, with intermediate stops at Lorca Sutullena, Alhama de Murcia, Totana and Murcia del Carmen stations to connect Archena with Madrid by train.

Since 1 October last, due to the start of the first phase of the work programmes by Adif, the Cercanías services on the C2 line have been operated by road between Murcia del Carmen-Lorca Sutullena-Águilas y vv. The alternative plan has two bus services in both directions, one semi-direct, with stops in Alhama de Murcia, Totana and Lorca San Diego y vv., and another seasonal service with stops at all the stations along the route.

The service between Lorca and Águilas y vv. is provided by a seasonal bus with stops at all stations along the route (P. Lumbreras, Almendricos, Pulpí, Jaravía, Águilas El Labradorcico and Águilas) on the arrival of the semi-direct bus from Murcia.

Likewise, passengers on the Intercity service between Barcelona and Lorca Sutullena make the journey by road between Murcia del Carmen and Lorca.

The works by sections

With a total length of 106.9 km, the works in the Region of Murcia are divided as follows:

They begin with the second phase of the railway integration in Murcia, from Murcia del Carmen and Barriomar stations.
Nonduermas-Sangonera (8.9 km)
Sangonera-Totana (24.7 km)
Totana-Totana (7 km)
Totana-Lorca (13.3 km)
Lorca-Pulpí (31.3 km)
Pulpí-Águilas (21.7 km)

In these seven sections, 23 viaducts, 9 tunnels (4 new and 5 whose section will be enlarged) and 20 structures will be built.

Upgrading of Archena-Fortuna station

With an investment of more than 400,000 euros, Adif AV has carried out a series of operations at Archena-Fortuna station, which will be the transfer point for trains connecting the Region of Murcia with Madrid.

To this end, the station’s passenger building has been refurbished, as well as the exterior urbanisation, in order to provide passengers with the best possible access and service conditions during this provisional situation.

The main actions carried out in the passenger building have consisted of the redistribution of spaces, the refurbishment of architectural elements and the rehabilitation of accesses.

Among other works, demolition work has been carried out, the painting of exterior metal elements, the relocation of water connections, the extension of the car park, new flooring inside the station, interior enclosures, the reinforcement of the forging of the structure, the installation of a new roof and new interior electrical, plumbing, drainage and air conditioning installations.

Other works have also been carried out, such as new door and window locks, the installation of false ceilings, enclosures, tiling of services and the adaptation of the exterior façade.

With regard to the exterior urbanisation, the adaptation of the car park, the fitting out of three bus bays and the incorporation of a passenger crossing are worthy of note.

On the other hand, a provisional train maintenance workshop has also been built in Cartagena, with an investment of more than 2.1 million euros.

Main benefits of the works

The following stand out:

Significant improvement in the conditions of capacity, reliability, efficiency and comfort. By extension, all citizens and the social and economic fabric will benefit by opening up to Europe, with the opportunities that this entails.

Significant environmental benefits by reducing pollution and CO2 emissions caused by road traffic and diesel traction in rail traffic.

Railway users will benefit the most from this action with a qualitative leap in services in this area of the Mediterranean arc, with reductions of up to 30% in journey times, and connectivity with the rest of the Mediterranean Corridor and the high-speed network: Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, etc.

The forecast evolution of demand on the Murcia-Águilas Cercanías line points to 2-3 million passengers per year once the project is completed, compared to the current 1.2 million passengers.

The works will enable the Murcia-Lorca-Pulpí line to have a high-capacity, electrified double track with no level crossings, as opposed to the current single, non-electrified track. It will also be connected to Águilas by electrified standard gauge track, which will provide a state-of-the-art local train service.

Level crossings will be eliminated, which will improve safety for both citizens and railway traffic.

Pedestrian and vehicle permeability will be guaranteed during the works.

All these actions contribute to the achievement of several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as number 9, which aims to develop reliable, sustainable and quality infrastructures, and number 11, which aims to provide access to safe, accessible and sustainable transport systems.

 

 

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