THE BUSY cross-city tunnel under the heart of Madrid between Atocha and Chamartín stations is to be duplicated at a cost of Pts30bn. In January the Ministry of Development signed an agreement with the City of Madrid for construction of an 8 km tunnel parallel to the existing bore completed at the end of the 1960s. As yet this is only an agreement in principle; detailed design, funding proposals and construction timescale will be settled later.

Forming the focus of the Spanish capital’s rapidly-expanding communter network, the original double-track tunnel is close to capacity. It is now being used by 458 trains a day, carrying over 300000 passengers.

As well as relieving the pressure on the original line, the new tunnel will eventually carry standard-gauge AVE tracks linking Atocha with the planned line from Chamartín to Valladolid and northeastern Spain.

  • During December, Madrid metro inaugurated two further extensions. The final 2·3 km section of Line 4 from Mar de Cristal to Santa María includes an intermediate station at San Lorenzo to serve the suburb of Hortaleza. In the southeast, Line 9 has been extended from Pavones to Puerto de Arganda, where an interchange is provided with the suburban station at Vic