SPAIN: Catalunya’s infrastructure manager Ifercat has awarded concessions to build and manage 26 stations on Barcelona metro Line 9 to two consortia headed by FCC and Dragados. Both concessions will last for 30 years after completion of the civil works, and will inject private financing into the project budget.

Ifercat will retain ownership of the stations and TMB will operate the services, whilst the concessionaires will complete the remaining construction work, maintain and run the 26 stations, including cleaning, lift and escalator operation and ventilation.

One contract worth €1 041m ?covers 13 stations on the 17 km Section I between the airport and Amadeu Torner in Hospital de Llobregat. The second relates to 13 stations between Gorg and Sagrera-Meridiana on the 11·8 km Section IV, and is valued at €667m. The 26 stations on Sections II and III may be tendered later.

Currently, 22·9 km of tunnel and viaduct have been completed on the 47·8 km line, along with 75% of the works at the 52 stations. Running trials are expected to start by the end of this year on the Santa Coloma de Gramanet branch of Section IV, between Can Zam and Xan Peixauet, which is due to open in the second quarter of 2009.

Meanwhile on October 24 two contracts were awarded by the national Ministry of Development for improvements to Barcelona’s Cercanías suburban rail service. Copcisa SA and Istem SL won a €4·9m contract to build a new entrance to Sabadell-Norte interchange on Line C-4, as part of the Líneas del Vallés extension. Ortiz, Construcciones y Proyectos SA was awarded a €10·3m contract to remodel the suburban station at Paseo de Gracia during the next 24 months.

The council also authorised the launch of a tender for the proposed La Sagrera station. This will provide an interchange between suburban lines R3, R4 and R7 and metro lines 1 and 5, as well as future lines 4 and 9. The tender budget is €51·1m and the work is expected to take 19 months.