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COASTAL TRAIN PLANS REVISITED

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The Ministry of Infrastructure has submitted plans for a feasibility study

The Spanish government may revive the proposed “Tren de la Costa” investment program that would see the rail network expanded through parts of the Costa Blanca.

The Ministry of Infrastructure has submitted plans for a feasibility study to the Ministry of Development that would investigate the plans after they were shelved due to the economic crisis. The cost for the Valencia to Alicante network has also been reduced to just 955 million euro, after the first planned budget of just over a billion euro rose to 1.3 billion when formally introduced in 2007.

The plan has been split into four key stages, the most exciting perhaps being stage 3, which would include a rail connection to Alicante-Elche airport in the town of El Altet, covering the provincial capital of Alicante, and continuing north to Benidorm.

Parts of the tram network would be modernised in the north of the Alicante province, and some of the proposed routes would be developed along single line sections, with enough space for them to be developed into two-line sections in the future.

Stage 1 covers Gandia to Oliva, a 10.19 kilometres single line section of track, with trains capable of travelling at between 100 and 140 kilometres per hour, with new stations at Gandia Hospital, Bellreguard and, provisionally, Oliva.

Stage 2 is from Oliva to Dénia, including the excavation of the routes in Oliva, and a 23.91 kilometre single line section, speeds the same as in stage 1, with new stations built at Oliva, El Verger, Ondara and an intermodal station in Dénia.

Stage 3 is the El Altet to Benidorm route, via Alicante, which is also the most expensive, swallowing up over a third of the total budget, at a cost of almost 370 million euro. The plan is for 50.13 kilometres of high speed, single line track, running through a 1.86 kilometre tunnel, and an additional station at El Campello .

The final stage, Stage 4, would see the improvement to the TRAM network between Dénia and Benidorm, including the electrification of Linea 9, converting the track to a European standard gauge, and improving the includes along the route, with maximum running speeds of 84.4 kilometres per hour.

Although the plans are exciting for many who might wish to travel high speed to Benidorm or the airport, there will be considerable disruption to the land and the environment in order to complete the network, and as they have already been in consideration for many years, whilst facing numerous knockbacks, whether the train network is realised remains to be seen, but the fact that the plans are being reconsidered is seen as a positive move by many, showing not only a stability in the country, but a commitment to a new area of the Costa Blanca.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45909/

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