High-speed ‘Mediterranean Corridor’ train ready for 2021, pledges Madrid

Long-awaited infrastructure will link southern Spain to Catalonia and France from coast

Part of the Mediterranean Corridor between Vandellòs and Hospitalet de L'Infant (by ACN)
Part of the Mediterranean Corridor between Vandellòs and Hospitalet de L'Infant (by ACN) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

September 27, 2018 03:03 PM

The high-speed ‘Mediterranean Corridor’ train link will be ready in 2021, according to the Spanish infrastructures minister, José Luis Ábalos.

In a meeting in Barcelona joined by more than a thousand businesspeople from Catalonia, Valencia and other Mediterranean areas, Ábalos said that “the connection with Europe is fundamental” because it will increase the “competitiveness” of the areas where it will go through.

The Mediterranean Corridor is set to link Algeciras, in southern Spain, to Valencia, Barcelona and the French border, and it has been a long-awaited infrastructure in Catalonia.

Consensus of Catalan parties

Part of the project has been marred by setbacks and delays over the years as some Catalan parties had already urged its construction back in the 2000s –in fact its need has the consensus of the whole Catalan political spectrum.

First high-speed railway not passing through Madrid

It would be the first high-speed railway that does not pass through Madrid, and this has also been a point of debate.

The former Spanish government also asked for money from the EU to create a central corridor, as well as the Mediterranean Corridor, that would pass through Madrid, Zaragoza, and the Pyrenees.

Some Catalan parties argued that this was too centralist, and asked for a more decentralized high-speed railway network.

The first high-speed railway in Spain was created in 1992 between Madrid and Seville. Sixteen years later, Barcelona, the second biggest city in Spain as a whole, got its own high-speed connection, thus prompting criticism in the time it took to expand its railway connections.