The councillor for Housing, Public Works and Terratorial Infrastructure, María José Salvador, today presented the Demand Study for the Intermodal Station at Castellón, requested by the Port Authority of Castellón and which confirms ‘the viability and the necessity’ for this new installation.
Present at the presentation were the President of the Port Authorty of Castellón Francisco Toledo, the managing director of PortCastelló Ana Ulloa, the general director of Public Works Carlos Domingo and the Mayoress of Castellón , Amparo Marco. The councillor highlighted the importance of the new station “which will remedy the lack of goods railway station.” . Because, as he pointed out, the province exported 3.4 million tons of goods by road to the rest of Europe and “a substantial proportion could be distributed by rail if there were a suitable station and rail network and this would produce significant benefit for the environment.”
The Castellón Intermodal station will require an investment of 20 million euros on the part of the Port Authority and will occupy a site measuring 30 hectares and will have both mixed UIC and Iberian gauge. It will have loading and unloading sidings and 750 metres of electrified line and will be set up as a terminal with direct connections in both directions.
The council has announced that the data presented in the Demand Study show that a quota of between 40 and 102 trains per week could be achieved and this would represent a significant improvement in the Valencian Region’s economy capacity to compete because, as it has been indicated, the Regional Government is committed in its support for intermodality because the quota of rail and river traffic in Spain is around 5.4% while the average in the 28 countries of the European Union is 23.6%.
The intermodal terminal next to the port.
As Salvador pointed out, the Generalitat has been working to overcome this ‘barrier’ for ten years during which time “the former government did nothing to to fulfil the Logistics Strategy.” For this reason the Consellería ordered a technical study which would determine the best location in Castellón.
Now that the Demand Study has been finalised, a Functional Study has been ordered which “will allow the infrastructure to have the scale necessary to cope with the forecast demand. When this has been completed the Port Authority will be able order the construction project with the aim of gaining legal permission to begin construction of the intermodal station at the end of 2019.”
However, the councillor has warned that the terminal alone “is not sufficient but is an improvement to the rail network in the Valencian Region and Spain.” For this reason he called once more upon the central government to carry out the “Mediterranean corridor with international gauge between Castellón and Tarragona as well as to carry out the work necessary to upgrade the Cantabrian – Mediterranean corridor so that it can be used by trains with a length of 750 metres, at increased speed, electrify the line and reduce gradients on some parts of the line.”
For his part, the president of the Port Authority of Castellón, Francisco Toledo, commented that “the construction of an intermodal station will allow us to overcome a serious lack of infrastructure in the province if Castellón and will allow us to be more competitive and permit the economy of Castellón to grow.
Francisco Toledo stated that the intermodal station will mean that more companies will be attracted to operate in the port of Castellón, which currently occupies the fifth position in the ranking of Spanish ports in terms of the import and export of goods, and fourth for the import of solid bulks. “Having a rail connection will allow the port of Castellón to become a leading port for these materials.”
The president of the Port Authority also made it known that the main destinations for trains leaving from the new intermodal station would be, within Spain, Madrid, Andalucia and Catalonia and internationally, France Germnay and Italy. And lastly he indicated that the new ‘Plan General de Ordenación Urbana’ (General Plan for Town Planning) takes into account that space needs to reserved in case it is necessary to extend the station at a later date.