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Barcelona's La Sagrera train station 60% complete

Spanish transport ministry expects 50 million annual passengers once transport hub is operational

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23 May 2022 07:39 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

One of the biggest construction projects in Barcelona is closer to completion. The La Sagrera station, near the Besós river, is 60% complete, as announced by Spanish transport minister Raquel Sánchez on Monday during a visit to the works.

So far, €540 million out of the budgeted €920 million have been spent on several parts to construct a hub for trains and transport in the city. La Sagrera will be home to high-speed trains, commuter trains, metro, and several bus lines. 

The ministry expects around 50 million passengers per year, as it is a "large scale" operation that will "bring people and neighborhoods closer," Raquel Sánchez said. 

"We will connect the different transport networks: buses, metro, commuter trains, and high-speed in a hub that will serve 50 million annual passengers," Sánchez added. 

The construction works in La Sagrera also give a new meaning to the Sant Andreu Comtal train station. According to the Spanish rail infrastructure administrator, Adif, the new station will start working in the second semester of 2022. 

Since December 2020, the R1 Rodalies line trains have driven through La Sagrera despite not stopping there. 

The next step is to start moving the rails used by the Granollers’ lines which would take up to 12 weeks of work. They are expected to start in the last week of August. 

20% completed since July 2019

La Sagrera train station has been one of the most controversial infrastructures in the Catalan capital. Works had been stopped for several years, resulting in several complaints from locals. 

One major sticking point is the project's cost, which has overrun the original estimate by six times, but which the courts dismissed as being due to unforeseen events and emergencies.

However, since July 2019, construction has sped up and reached 60% completion. 

At one point, a journalist ironically asked during a press conference if the Sagrada Família basilica would be finished before the train station. 

T-Mobilitat, Catalonia’s future travel card

The T-Mobilitat transport card is the future of Catalonia’s transportation infrastructure. Some cities already have had a similar system in place for some years now, such as London’s Oyster Card, Melbourne’s Myki, and Madrid’s Tarjeta Multi.

The card allows you to travel with a tap-and-go system and will fully rolled out, according to the Catalan government, across Catalonia by 2024. 

In this case, T-Mobilitat will charge users by kilometer, instead of by area as in the current system. 

However, the system has overrun its initial budget and has seen several problems which have postponed the launch date by years. For the moment the cost has been €93.6 million, 62% more than first agreed. 

The first T-Mobilitat contract between administrations was signed in 2014. Since then, several end dates have been proposed, including 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. 

For the moment, the Catalan government expects to have it up and running around the territory before the end of 2024. 

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  • La Sagrera train station under construction on May 23, 2022 (by Marta Vidal)

  • La Sagrera train station under construction on May 23, 2022 (by Marta Vidal)

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