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ADIF fast-tracks building the new south rail access to PortCastelló

27 September 2023

2023-09-27. Adif has awarded the contract for building section II of the new south rail access to the Port of Castellon for which it has earmarked €62.4 million. This strategic connection will link the port facilities with the Mediterranean Corridor while driving intermodal freight traffic and more efficient, competitive and sustainable mobility.

The new rail access is 8.3 km long, made up of 4.7 km in Section I – currently under construction – and 3.6 km in Section II. The access is to be built on a single electrified, mixed-gauge track, will be exclusively for freight traffic and will enable goods to enter the port on trains up to 750 m long.

Work on Section II

The main works in this second phase include the construction of two viaducts, one over the Fraga ravine and the other over the line; two underpasses in the port and two overpasses with a roundabout over the same ravine, where a channel wall will also be reinforced.

The construction of the new platform, the geotechnical treatment in the Marjalería area, drainage works, the construction of new roads, the replacement of affected services and the installation of conduits for the railway facilities will also be carried out.

The works are to be carried out by the consortium made up of of Contratas Vilor and Acsa Obras e Infraestructuras over a period of 28 months.

The initiative is part of the agreement signed last January between Adif, the State-owned Ports Body and the Port Authority of Castellon (APC), involving an investment of €159.7 million. Adif will be paying €86.8 million and the APC the remaining €72.9 million.

The Port Authority of Castellon is also drafting the construction project for the intermodal station, which will be located on the new south rail access. The investment for this development is not included in the agreement, although the compulsory purchase of the land and the construction of the platform, which are part of the platform project for Section II, are included.

Further progress in its implementation

The new rail access to the Port of Castellon consists of a branch that starts 100m from the Mediterranean Corridor and ends at the connection with the future intermodal station. It is divided into two: the first section outside the Port, managed by Adif, and a second section which will be part of the Port’s public internal network, managed by the Port Authority of Castellon (APC).

A mixed-gauge track has already been laid on track 1 of the Castellon-Almassora section (southbound, inland side) of the Mediterranean Corridor and the phase 0 works on the platform for the new south rail access have already been completed. Adif is currently working on Section I, between the Mediterranean Corridor and the western end of the future intermodal station, connecting with the beginning of Section II.

The planned works also include a reversing facility in the vicinity of the access branch to enable northbound movements, foreseeably near Vila-real station, located just over 7 km south of Castellon station. A new electrical substation is also envisaged together with drafting the projects and deploying works for security, safety and communications systems.

Total investment in all the projects that will make the south rail access to the Port of Castellon a reality amounts to €335.5 million.

The initiatives are part of Adif’s ongoing strategy to enhance rail freight transport by promoting Spanish ports as preeminent logistics hubs in southern Europe and making them more competitive to attract private investment.

All these projects contribute to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), and goals 9.1 (build resilient infrastructure) and 9.4 (upgrading infrastructure) in particular.

“These rail accesses connect us and put us on the map,” says Rubén Ibáñez, the Port Authority of Castellon’s Chairman. “This infrastructure gives us an excellent competitive edge as it will make us more cost-effective and bolster the Port of Castellon as a logistics hub.”

 

European funding

Most of these projects will be funded by the Spanish Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, financed by the European Union’s NextGenerationEU initiative.

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