THE SPANISH Ministry of Development has begun public consultation on a new 4·9 km branch taking 1668mm gauge trains to Barcelona Airport, which is expected to cost €139·8m to build.

As well as suburban services running through to destinations northeast of the city centre, the route would also be used by shuttles between the airport and the proposed station on the Madrid - Barcelona high speed line at El Prat de Llobregat (RG 2.04 p68).

The new double-track line would leave the Barcelona - Tarragona main line just west of El Prat, running partly in tunnel to a new airport station located between terminals A and B. It would then continue under the runways to serve a new terminal on the south side of the airport.