This line, integrated into the Mediterranean High-Speed Corridor, will connect the city of Almeria with this Corridor, as well as with the Madrid-Castile La Mancha-Valencian Community-Murcia Region High-Speed Line.
This will boost Almeria's rail links with Murcia, Levante, Catalonia, Castile La Mancha and the centre of the Iberian Peninsula, integrating it into the European rail networks as a whole and reducing journey times. In addition it will improve local services on the Murcia-Águilas route.
This line is included in the General Interest Railway Network.
In order to take advantage of the investment already made, of €792 million, which has enabled 7 sections to be completed, although without continuity, and optimising the planned investments, a double-track track-bed is contemplated up to Pulpí, in a single track between Pulpí and Vera (25.7 km), again double track between Vera and Arejos (27.7 km), on the Los Arejos-Níjar section, the initial section has to be executed on a double-track track-bed, to have 40 km of double track in the extension of the Vera-Los Arejos section, necessary for dynamic overtaking of trains, and single track to Almeria (44.8 km), thus optimising the investment and guaranteeing the capacity to meet future demand studies.
The drilling was carried out using a tunnel boring machine and conventional methods. The "Alcazaba" TBM finished drilling the first tunnel on 15 March 2011 and, after being dismantled and reassembled, it was then used to drill the second tunnel, finishing on 18 January 2012, after six months of work, with an average output of more than 1,000 metres per month.
Stations on the line
The requirements of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) are also complied with, ensuring that all construction and infrastructure work is successfully integrated into the surrounding area and that all applicable environmental measures are implemented as effectively as possible.
The works of the high speed train that will connect Murcia and Almería will have to protect the existing Rambla de Librilla, Rambla de Algeciras and the Jauto River.
On the other hand, the EIS has specific actions to protect ecological values of Sites of Community Interest (SCI) such as “Sierra del Alto Almagro”, “Río Antas”, “Sierra de Cabrera-Bédar” and “Ramblas del Percal, Tabernas y Sur de la sierra de Alhamilla”
Among other projects, there will be environmental restoration of dry riverbeds, ravines and land affected by erosion within the SCIs.
The environmental viability of the Cabrera mountain range is possible due to the construction of the Sorbas tunnel which stretches under the Sierra Cabrera-Bédar ACI, with a length of 7.5 km.
With regards to fauna, the EIS includes measures to protect the Greek tortoise, an endangered species that is present throughout the Sierra Cabrera branch and at other points along the route.
For this purpose a detailed study will be carried out, together with the Government of Andalusia, to determine the distribution of the Greek tortoise, the location of specific passes, and to propose the necessary protective, corrective or compensatory measures.