The AVE tunnel between Atocha and Chamartín will enter service in the second quarter of the year



It will allow connecting the south-east corridor with the north-northwest corridor without having to change trains

Travel between Seville and Valladolid in it bird It is, right now, impossible. The journey from the Andalusian town dies in Madrid at the Atocha station. And to travel to the town of Pucelana, it is necessary to take the train at Chamartín, so, between one station and another, you have to travel by subway, commuter rail or other means of transport. But this interruption will come to an end very soon. The Minister of Development, José Luis Ábalos, announced today that the UIC wide tunnel, which will allow high-speed trains to circulate between both stations without having to change, will be inaugurated in the second quarter of the year. Although Ábalos has not wanted to detail an exact date, from the railway infrastructure manager, Adif, they calculate that the tunnel opening date will be closer to the end than at the beginning of the quarter. At this time, the company is performing the necessary tests to put it into service.

The tunnel will thus be ready for the liberalization of the AVE. On December 14, Renfe will face competition from the French company SNCF – the other operator that has gained capacity to operate, Ilsa-Trenitalia, will delay its landing until January 2022 – in the south, east and northeast corridors (Madrid -Barcelona). For Adif, it is crucial that this be so that companies can offer a wider range of trips to places like Asturias or Galicia at the time.

Ábalos has made the announcement during the presentation of the international competition for the integral transformation of Chamartín station and its urban integration, which will have a global tender amount of 29.4 million euros. The minister has assured that the terminal will become “the greatest European example of a sustainable, connected and favorable station for the meeting and coexistence within the capital”. Ábalos has emphasized that the purpose of the investment in this project is not to have a modern and hyperconnected station in itself, but to “offer the highest quality in the services that will be provided to about 42 million annual travelers in 2040 ” which is expected to have the complex, 47% more than today.

To this integral remodeling of the station will be added the tender, in the coming months and for a value of 272 million euros (VAT included), of the works of a first extension of both the station lobby and of the roads destined for services Of high speed. This action contemplates the execution of 4 tracks and 2 platforms of standard width, which means doubling the number of tracks and platforms currently destined for high speed at the station.

The winner of the contest must design a new terminal for access to the platforms in the north head, with its urban uses associated with the railway (services to the traveler, offices of the railway companies and parking lots) and their corresponding areas of road and pedestrian access, in addition of a new urban perimeter road that will guarantee the perfect pedestrian and road access to the station, from all the facades, as well as its integration into the urban fabric.

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