The Mediterranean Railway Corridor for freight and High-Speed passenger trains is “an undeniable priority” states Spanish Minister for Public Works

The Spanish Minister for Public Works, Jose Blanco, attended the end of the drilling works of the High-Speed Train tunnel that will cross Girona, part of the line that will connect with the French border. The Mediterranean Railway Corridor is a long running issues for Catalonia, Valencia, Murcia and Andalucía. It would link the Straights of Gibraltar, the harbours of Barcelona and Valencia, and Central and Northern Europe, allowing a freight train to go from Algeciras or Barcelona directly to Hamburg or Stockholm.

CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

July 7, 2011 10:57 PM

Girona (ACN).- The Mediterranean Railway Corridor for freight and high-speed passenger trains should go along the East of Spain, linking the areas that stretch from Gibraltar to Murcia, Valencia, Catalonia and Central and Northern Europe. It would cross the main industrial and exporting zones in Spain, as well as the main harbours, such as Barcelona. The railway will not only be for freight transportation, but would also transport passengers on High-Speed Trains, linking Spain’s second most populated city, Barcelona, with the third, Valencia, as well as with the rest of the European network through Montpellier. Passengers would be able to go via High-Speed train from Lyon to Barcelona. Goods will be able to arrive at Tarragona Port and be lifted on to a train and transported, non-stop to Milan, Stuttgart or Copenhagen. However, this key infrastructure is not a reality yet and it is not even considered as a European priority because the Spanish Government did not ask for it in the past, despite the strong pressure from Catalan economic powers. This situation could change according to the Spanish Minister for Public Works, Jose Blanco, who in the last number of months, due to the economic crisis, has recognised this infrastructure as a priority. Blanco announced that on July 11th, he will meet with the Autonomous Community Ministers for Public Works from Catalonia, Valencia, Murcia and Andalucía to discuss the infrastructure and explain the efforts his ministry is doing on the issue. Besides, the Valencian Minister for Public Works stated on Thursday that a “partisan fight” should be completely out of this discussion, as it is “a key infrastructural project for our economic development as well as Spain’s”.

Blanco insisted in Girona on Thursday that the Spanish Government considers the infrastructure an “undeniable priority”, despite the crisis and the need to stop certain infrastructural works. For many years, the Spanish Government has pushed for another option, going through the Central Pyrenees and less industrialised areas, instead of going through Spain’s main harbours and economic engines. Blanco insisted that the Spanish Government will ask the European Union to include the Mediterranean Railway Corridor among the list of trans-European transport networks and priorities. Blanco made the comments in Girona, where he was attending the end of the drilling works of the High-Speed Tunnel that will cross the city. The tunnel is part of the line from Barcelona to Perpignan, that will go through Girona and Figueres, and under the Pyrenees via El Pertús tunnel, already in service.