SPANISH Development Minister Francisco Álvarez-Cascos joined Mayor of Madrid Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón at Nuevos Ministerios on July 8 to mark the formal start of work on the second cross-city rail tunnel that will carry suburban services between Atocha and Chamartín. The project is expected to cost a total of €259m. Work to build a new station at Sol-Gran Vía under the heart of Madrid that will provide interchange with four metro lines is due to take 47 months to complete, following the award of a €80·1m contract to FCC and Contratas y Ventas.

The double-track tunnel with an internal diameter of 8·43m will be bored using an earth pressure balance TBM, with the 5 km Atocha - Nuevos Ministerios section awarded to Dragados and Tecsa for €95·6m and Ferrovial-Agrom