WITH municipal and regional elections due in June 1999, Madrid Regional Transport Authority is developing proposals for expanding the Spanish National Railways suburban network. The authority is to sign a new agreement with Renfe this year (p251) and local politicians are keen to gain closer control over suburban services.

A key aim is to improve links between the northern routes to Tres Cantos and Guadalajara and the Móstoles-El Soto - Fuenlabrada line (C-5) in the south. Of the average 676400 passengers each working day using the Madrid network in 1997, 286650 rode line C-5, making it Renfe’s busiest suburban route. A study will examine options including doubling capacity on the Chamartín - Atocha core, a new cross-city tunnel, and a circular service to link interchanges at Príncipe Pío, Gregorio Marañón, Avenida de América, Recoletos, Méndez Alvaro and Embajadores.

The authority is studying new construction from Móstoles-El Soto to Navalcarnero and extending C-5 services from Fuenlabrada to Humanes and Griñón. This is also being examined by the Ministry of Development and Renfe’s Suburban business unit, whose own projects include cutting Chamartín - Atocha headways to 2min and remodelling at Chamartín to provide six tracks for cross-city services. A study last year confirmed the feasibility of extending services north from Tres Cantos to Colmenar Viejo.

  • Madrid regional government has awarded a Pts15·2bn contract to FCC and Dragados to build the 5·6 km section of metro Line 8 from Campo de las Naciones to Barajas (Pueblo). Scheduled for completion by October 1999, the line will have one intermediate stop at Barajas Airport. o