SPAIN: A joint venture of Ferrovial Agromán and Azvi had been awarded a €47·4m contract for tracklaying, electrification and railway systems installation on the 6·9 km new-build component of the rail link between Madrid Charmartín and Terminal 4 at Barajas Airport, the Ministry of Development announced on July 16.

Widening of an existing belt line from two to four tracks over 1·9 km to accommodate airport services has already been undertaken in conjunction with the remodelling of Charmartín for high speed services. Running for 4·7 km in tunnel, the T4 branch will have intermediate stations at Manoteras and Valdebebas, giving a journey time of 10 min.

Under its 2009-15 investment programme for the Madrid suburban network (RG 6.09 p9), the ministry has called tenders for design studies for a 17 km section of the cross-city route linking the eastern and southwestern suburbs, running in tunnel from San Fernando de Henares. Work is expected to take 24 months.

The station at Puerta del Sol in central Madrid opened on June 28, following an inauguration by Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero the day before. Built at a cost of €155m on the second cross-city tunnel between Atocha and Chamartín, the platforms sit in what is claimed to be the world’s largest man-made cavern at 207 m long, 20 m wide and 15 m high.