RENFE train and passengers

SPAIN: The Ministry of Transport has completed initial feasibility studies of possible routes for a high speed line from Vigo to the Portuguese border, from where the line would continue to Porto.

The existing Eje Atlántico line runs from A Coruña to Santiago de Compostela and Vigo. A connection between this corridor and Porto would provide improved connectivity within a region which has a relatively high population density.

Proposals have been discussed for more than two decades, but are now being prioritised by both the Spanish and Portuguese governments.

One of the Spanish ministry’s aims is to eliminate Vigo-Guixar station, with all trains to use the nearby Vigo-Urzáiz station which opened in 2015 with provision for future use as a through station.

Two alternative routes are now being considered.

The northern option would use an existing tunnel to the east of Vigo-Urzáiz as far as a new subterranean junction with the Eje Atlántico south of Redondela. From here, a 12 km As Maceiras chord would run through around 10 km of tunnel to a junction with the existing Vigo – Ourense line in the vicinity of Louredo-Valos.

A southern option would run west from Vigo-Urzáiz in a 1·4 km tunnel, then cross the suburb of Sárdoma in the open to enter a 6·3 km tunnel under the Alto de Puxeiros. The line would then follow the Rego valley, and run parallel to the A55 motorway in the vicinity of O Porriño where it would join the existing railway. This would require 14·7 km of new railway, with more than 10 km in tunnel.

The ministry has concluded that both alternatives are technically viable, and further studies are to be undertaken before a preferred option is selected.