Pl Espanya

SPAIN: Regional operator FGC has called tenders for construction of a 4 km tunnel from the Espanya terminus in Barcelona to Gràcia, improving access to the centre of the city.

The tunnel would enable the metre-gauge services branded as metro Line 8 and suburban routes S3, S4, S8, S9, R5, R50, R6 and R60 to be extended to Gràcia, providing an interchange with FGC’s 1 435 mm gauge lines. The extension would terminate in a station box beneath the existing platforms, and the two rail corridors would not be physically connected.

FGC Barcelona tunnel map

FGC has called a €320m tender for the construction of the tunnel and the three stations at Hospital Clínic (interchange with metro Line 5), Francesc Macià (interchange with tram routes T1, T2 and T3) and Gràcia.

The single-bore double-track tunnel will include a short stretch with two single-track bores, and three emergency exits to street level.

A separate contract would be awarded for tracklaying and electrification with a budget of €104m.

Works to divert utilities from the route are already underway at a cost of €6·5m, and main works are scheduled to start in mid-2023 for completion in 2029-30.

The journey from Espanya to Gràcia will take 7 min, and FGC predicts that the extension will increase annual ridership on its 99 km metre-gauge network by 38% to 38·3 million passengers a year.