SPAIN: The Basque regional government has given final approval for construction of Line 5 of the Bilbao metro network.
Under the latest plans, this 6·3 km, five-station line would replace the existing double-track surface route used by Euskotren and Bilbao metro services between Etxbarri and Usánsolo with a largely underground alignment. This would better serve the densely-populated districts to the east of the city centre in the Ibaizabal valley.
Local infrastructure manager Euskal Trenbide Sarea will now prepare the necessary final business case and environmental impact studies.
Line 5 trains would start at Etxebarri, where there is an interchange with metro lines 1 and 2, and serve five new stations at Sarratu, Aperribai, Bengoetxe, Galdakao and Hospital de Usánsolo. The new line would then re-join the existing railway at Usánsolo.
Construction is planned to start next year for completion in 2029. The estimated cost of €360m is to be funded from regional sources, although this excludes the cost of rolling stock, procurement of which will be the responsibility of Euskotren.
The current plan envisages the cessation of passenger services over the existing line, which is used mainly by Euskotren services on the intra-regional metre-gauge route towards San Sebastián. These would in future share the Line 5 corridor.