LAST MONTH the Spanish Ministry of Development called tenders for two contracts to undertake studies for high speed routes on the Canary Islands, including feasibility, alignment options and traffic forecasts. Each contract has a budget of €601854 and should be completed with a period of 24 months.

On Tenerife, an 80 km route is planned from Santa Cruz to Adeje via Reina Sofía International Airport, while on Gran Canaria a 50 km line would run from Las Palmas to Maspalomas via the airport at Gando. The ministry expects high speed rail to radically transform public transport on the islands, introducing ’a modern, competitive and efficient mode’ that meets sustainable development objectives.