MEETING ON October 25, the board of the Spanish government's transport infrastructure agency Seitt approved the award of three contracts worth €201·3m in total, covering civil works on 67·1 km of the 91·9 km of high speed line to be built between Olmedo and Zamora. Leaving the Madrid – Valladolid route at Olmedo, this line will eventually connect the capital with the Galicia region of northwest Spain.

Acciona Infraestructuras has been awarded a €105·8m contract to build the 32·2 km Villaverde de Medina – Villafranca de Duero section, while Ferrovial Agromán is to construct the 28·7 km between Villafranca de Duero and Coreses for €86·1m. The final 6·2 km into Zamora is to be built by Begar Construcciones y Contratas for €9·4m, running parallel to the existing railway alignment where three level crossings are to be replaced by bridges.

The Spanish cabinet has given its approval for the Ministry of Development to sign an agreement with Seitt and ADIF that will commit €1·7bn to the Ourense – Santiago de Compostela project in Galicia during 2007-10. Civil works have been completed on 53·4% of the 87·5 km route, which through the construction of new alignments designed for high speed operation will cut the distance by rail between Ourense and Santiago by 38·5 km.