SPAIN: A total of €850∙5m is to be spent on rail projects in 2017-21 under an investment programme to improve land access to ports that was unveiled by Development Minister Íñigo de la Serna on January 9.

Freight traffic moving to and from ports by rail has grown by 43% since 2011, according to the Ministry of Development, and is expected to reach 15∙8 million tonnes in 2016 and 16∙2 million tonnes in 2017. Rail’s market share now stands at 60%.

Total spending of €1∙42bn is planned for 2016-17, of which €514m will be within port areas and €463∙6m to improve ‘last-mile’ connections between ports and the national rail and road networks. Spending on the national networks will be €440∙8m, of which €250∙8m will be provided from a dedicated fund to improve port access which is also contributing €300∙9m to ‘last-mile’ spending.

Major projects include a new rail connection to the Port of Barcelona at the southern end of the docks complex, costing a total of €149∙8m which is being provided by ADIF (€77∙2m) and the Barcelona port authority (€72∙6m). Using an FGC alignment, ADIF will be responsible for building a single-track electrified connection able to accommodate 1 000 mm, 1 435 mm and 1 668 mm gauge freight trains at a cost of €30∙7m.

At Ferrol, €95m is to be spent on a single-track 1 000 mm and 1 668 mm gauge branch to the outer port, of which €91∙7m is being provided by the access fund. Civil works will include a 5∙6 km tunnel and a 600 m viaduct. Traffic of 500 000 tonnes a year is forecast, including containers, coal and grain.

Port facilities at La Cabezuela in the Bay of Cádiz are to be connected to the ADIF network by means of 4∙65 km of new infrastructure, which will be the continuation of the short branch to Universidad station from the Sevilla — Cádiz route. The single-track non-electrified line to the port boundary is expected to cost €20m to build.