GIF HAS AWARDED three contacts worth a total of €5m to undertake studies for a proposed 450 km high speed line along the northern coast of Spain between Ferrol and Bilbao (RG 4.03 p180). The section from Ferrol to the boundary between the Galicia and Asturias regions has been awarded to Ayesa for €1·35m, while AEPO has a €2·19m contract covering Asturias. Proser will cover the section across Cantabria and on to Bilbao for €1·5m; all three contracts are for a period of 24 months.
The Ministry of Development has begun public consultation on a 126·3 km high speed line between Alar del Rey and Santander, expected to cost €1·1bn to build as part of a new route between Madrid and the Cantabrian coast. This would largely follow the existing railway, and routing options include dual-gauging the 39 km Los Corrales de Buelna - Torrelavega - Santander section. Between Torrelavega and Santander the proposed Ferrol - Bilbao route would have to be taken into account.