BARCELONA’s Metropolitan Transport Authority has approved plans to build a 35 km orbital metro line linking the city’s eastern, northern and western suburbs (MR 00 p30). The formal endorsement of Line 9 enables the Catalunya regional government to apply for European Union cohesion funding towards the estimated costs of Pts180bn for infrastructure and Pts33bn for rolling stock.

Line 9 will connect Gorg/Singuerling in the northeast suburb of Badalona with the airport at El Prat via La Sagrera, Sarrià, and Zona Franca, with either 37 or 38 stations. It will serve the districts of Santa Eulalia and Collblanc in Hospitalet, together with the future court complex, Barcelona football club, the industrial estates around Zona Franca and Fira Pedrosa. Interchange will be provided at 13 stations, linking with the existing five metro lines, Renfe and FGC suburban services and the planned AVE station at La Sagrera.

East of La Sagrera, the line is now expected to split into two branches. One would run directly to meet Line 1 at Santa Coloma, and the other would connect with Line 2 at Badalona. Scheduled for completion by 2010, Line 9 is expected to carry 85 million passengers a year.