AN AGREEMENT signed by Andalucía's Minister for Public Works & Transport Concepción Gutiérrez and Mayor of San Fernando Manuel María de Bernardo on November 15 paved the way for tendering to begin before the end of 2007 for a 24 km tram-train route that will connect San Fernando and Chiclana de la Frontera with the city of Cádiz (RG 7.06 p493).

The project is costed at €142m excluding rolling stock and includes 13·6 km of new construction from Chiclana to San Fernando where LRVs would join the existing railway to reach Cádiz. Serving 17 new stops, the route is expected to carry 11 600 passengers a day.

Within a budget of €2·5m, the regional government has invited bids by December 21 for a contract to undertake development work for a light rail scheme in Jerez de la Frontera. This should determine the route as well as the estimated cost of the project, where civils and tracklaying work would be funded by the region. The municipality would meet the cost of signalling, electrification and other railway systems as well as rolling stock.

A similar funding model was adopted for the Metro_Centro LRT project in Sevilla (RG 3.07 p128), and is proposed for Jaén where the regional government is providing €2·3m for initial routing studies for a 5 km network. Construction work would begin at the start of 2009.

Bids have also been invited for studies to define the alignment of a light rail connection between Los Palacios y Villafranca and Dos Hermanas, lying on the southern outskirts of Sevilla and served by the Renfe route to Cádiz. The Andalucía regional government is also examining the potential for light rail in Córdoba, Huelva and Almería as well as the Campo de Gibraltar area around Algeciras, San Roque and La Línea de la Concepción.