ON JANUARY 30 the Spanish cabinet gave its approval for tenders to be called for civil works on nine sections of high speed line connecting Madrid with Valencia and Albacete. They cover a total of 125·5 km and are expected to cost €350·3m in all.

Six consecutive sections run for 87·8 km from Monteagudo de las Salinas to Albacete, while on the Valencia route bids are to be invited for two sections between Motilla del Palancar and Minglanilla as well as the 9·3 km Venta del Moro - Caudete de las Fuentes portion.

The Ministry of Development has begun consultation on plans to redevelop Alacant station (RG 6.03 p350), served by high speed lines from Albacete and Murcia. Costed at €187·8m to €192·4m, the project includes two new suburban stations on the 1668mm gauge route to La Encina and a 1·2 km freight branch to serve the port.

At the southern end of the high speed corridor along the Mediterranean coast, an alignment 184 km in length has been selected for the Murcia - Almería route.