INVESTMENT and support for the national rail network from the Spanish government will total €8·15bn in 2008, up 5% on 2007 and representing 41% of total spending on transport. Renfe is to receive €1035m, of which €545m will be operating subsidy for suburban passenger operations.

Investment in the suburban networks will total €463m, up by 49·4% on the current year, of which €244m will be spent on infrastructure and rolling stock in Barcelona. The Ministry of Development and its agencies are to spend €832m on maintenance next year, up 5·8% on 2007.

At €4bn, high speed line construction will account for almost 50% of railway spending in 2008. The route between Madrid and Valencia is to receive €979m, the line from Lleida to the French border €739m and the route north from Valladolid to León and Oviedo €506m. A total of €580m has been allocated to the line between Madrid and Galicia in northwest Spain.

On September 24 ADIF President Antonio González signed a 50-year loan agreement with the European Investment Bank, releasing a tranche of €300m for the Madrid – Valladolid high speed line. Due to open on December 22, this route has cost an estimated €3·6bn to build, of which €1·8bn has been provided by the European Union and €500m by EIB. A second tranche of €800m from the bank is under consideration.

The final contract awards for the Madrid – Valladolid route include a €76·2m package of works to install a second 1435 mm gauge track over the 5·4 km between the River Duero and El Pinar de Antequera, awarded to Corsán-Corviam, Begar and Zarzuela. OHL, Aldesa, Sando, Copasa and Tableros y Puentes have been awarded a €60m contract to install ventilation and safety systems in the San Pedro tunnels, including CCTV, emergency lighting and fire-fighting equipment.

  • On the route to the French border, a joint venture of FCC, Dragados, Tesca and Copisa has been awarded a €278·6m contract to build the 3·6 km section through Girona, including a new station and 2·9 km in bored tunnel. Civil works on the 7·5 km section to Figueres, including 560 m on viaduct, have been awarded to Sacyr, Cavosa and Scrinser for €77m.