SPANISH Development Minister Francisco Álvarez-Cascos joined Feve President Eugenio Damboriena in Asturias on May 10 to mark the completion of track renewal work between Ribadesella and Llanes, and electrification between Nava and Infiesto. Both projects on Feve’s Oviedo - Santander route have been undertaken as part of the Metrotrén Asturias programme to improve local services provided by Feve and Renfe around Oviedo and Gijón (RG 1.02 p9).

Track renewal between Ribadesella and Llanes has been completed with the Ribadesella - Villahormes and Posada - Llanes sections. Work took eight months to complete at a cost of €2·7m, with over 10000 concrete sleepers laid to carry long welded rail. Extending 1·5 kV DC electrification from Nava to Infiesto cost €2·4m, and involved the construction of a substation at Nava under a €926764 contract awarded last October.

Consultation has begun on a 2·6 km branch to Asturias Airport from Santiago del Monte on Feve’s Pravia - Gijón route, expected to cost €17·7m. On the Renfe network, Necso Entrecanales Cubiertas has been awarded a €106m contract to bore a 3·5 km tunnel from beneath the existing Gijón terminus to Viesques (RG 1.03 p9). Work is expected to take 35 months to complete.

  • Under the €492·4m Metrotrén Cantabria programme, €357·8m has been earmarked for infrastructure upgrades on Renfe’s Santander - Reinosa route, as well as the Feve routes from Santander to Cabezón de la Sal and Liérganes. New and refurbished EMUs for both operators have been allocated €60·5m.