The standard gauge tunnel that will link Atocha and Chamartín will be operational on July 1. This was announced by the Ministry of Transport this Wednesday, which explained that the State Agency for Railway Safety (AESF), will conclude the approval of this infrastructure next week. The infrastructure, carried out by Adif Alta Velocidad, has required an investment of 338 million euros.
The tunnel will allow a reordering of high-speed connections. To begin with, it will decongest the traffic in and out of Madrid and, more importantly, it will allow connecting the northern lines (
that stop in Chamartín) with those from the south (which stop at Atocha) without the need to transfer. The Government's plans happen because it is possible, for example, to carry out a Valencia-Santiago shortly without having to stop in Madrid.
Adif has taken advantage of the tunnel approval process to begin work on the future Chamartín outdoor plaza. Likewise, with the aim of increasing railway capacity and allowing the circulation of a greater number of trains, Adif will also put into service the duplication of track in the 28 km section between Puerta de Atocha and Torrejón de Velasco, with an investment of 734 millions.
Until now, high-speed trains from Levante to Madrid, and vice versa, shared their access to the capital with trains to and from Andalusia, equipped with the LZB system. The French Ouigo trains do not currently have this technology, which in practice has prevented their arrival in both the Andalusian and Valencian corridors.
Now that these roads have been duplicated and the tunnel is operational, the accesses to the capital of these two corridors will be separated. The route to Seville will continue to be equipped with the LZB, but the connection to Valencia will not. In other words, if the French in Ouigo want to start operating on the route to
I raised They will be able to do it from July.
The French operator, however, has already announced that it will delay its entry into this corridor until after the summer, arguing that the tunnel was not operational. An argument that falls after the announcement of the Ministry of Transport. The French operator plans to put the tickets on sale on June 30 and it will be that day when it will announce when it will enter this route.