Press releases

Mitma begins work on the new south rail access to the Port of Castellon to boost intermodal freight traffic

3 April 2023


The Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (Mitma), through Adif Alta Velocidad, is beginning the construction work on the first section of the south rail access to the Port of Castellon (4.7 km), a strategic initiative that represents an investment of more than €100 million (including VAT). The entire project will connect the Port to the Mediterranean Corridor, promoting intermodal freight traffic, as well as more efficient, competitive and sustainable mobility.

The Secretary of State for Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda, David Lucas, who visited the site today, expressed his satisfaction with the start of the works and praised the excellent cooperation between authorities that has made the project possible. He thanked both the Castellon City Council and the Valencian Regional Government, the State-owned Ports Body, the Port Authority and Adif for their loyal collaboration in pushing this project forward.

In this context, David Lucas stressed the importance of the project as it will make rail transport more efficient and competitive by connecting the Port to the Mediterranean Corridor, reducing access and transit times and integrating the port and the city of Castellon into the European intermodal and freight logistics network.

The Secretary of State, who was accompanied by the Chairwoman of Adif, María Luisa Domínguez, was briefed on the details of the development of Section I, which will run between the Mediterranean Corridor and the western end of the future Intermodal Station, connecting with the beginning of Section II.

As part of the Ministry’s firm commitment to improving infrastructure and connectivity in Castellon, the Secretary of State announced that work has already begun on the project to create a third lane for overtaking and lay-bys on the AP-7 motorway, with an investment of over €40 million. The aim is to build new third lane sections with a total length of 11.4 km between Castellon and Almenara and a series of emergency lay-bys.

Since the end of the AP-7 motorway concession on 31 December 2019 on the Tarragona-Valencia and Valencia-Alicante sections, Mitma has been working to upgrade the motorways.

Connecting the Port to the Mediterranean Corridor

The construction of the new rail access to the Port of Castellon has begun with preliminary works, including earthworks, operations for the diversion of services, the beginning of pile-driving in the section that runs through tunnels, as well as clearing, drilling and topography works.

The new south rail access to the Port of Castellon, 4.7 km long in this first section, starts 100 m from the Mediterranean Corridor and ends at the connection with the future Intermodal Station and is divided into two: a first section outside the Port, managed by Adif, and a second to be located inside the port’s internal network, managed by the APC. Both sections will be included in the Spanish public rail network.

This new south freight-only link is 8.3 km long. It will have a single electrified mixed-gauge track, facilitating rail freight access to the port on trains up to 750 m long.

The work in this first phase includes a train 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.

Likewise, a new electricity substation will be built, and the project drafting and deployment of the safety and communications infrastructure, as well as the train reversing facility, will be drawn up.

The new south rail access started with the laying of the mixed gauge on track 1 of the Castellon-Almassora section (southbound-inland side) of the Mediterranean Corridor and the completion of the Phase 0 works on the platform. Now, work on Section I is continuing.

The works are part of the initiatives promoted by the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (MITMA) to promote rail-port connectivity as a strategic factor to consolidate Spanish ports as benchmark logistics platforms in southern Europe. The second aim of this investment is to make these logistics platforms more competitive and to become pull factors for private investment.

Work on Section II

The works that are now underway will be completed with others included in the Agreement signed last January between Adif, the State-owned Ports Body and the APC to make the new south rail access to the Port of the capital of Castellon a reality.

To this end, the platform and track works of Section II will be executed; a total of 3.6 km from the end of Section I to the port. The platform works on Section II will be put out to tender once the project has been technically approved and the public information period for the construction project has been completed.

The measures included in the Agreement involve an investment of €159.7 million. Adif is investing €86.8 million, and the APC the remaining €72.9 million.

In addition, the APC is drafting the construction project for the Intermodal Station, which will be located on the new south rail access to the Port of Castellon. The investment for its development does not come under the scope of the Agreement, although the compulsory purchase of part of the land used to build it, as well as the construction of the platform, do come under the initiatives covered by the agreement, as they are part of the platform project for Section II.

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

European funding

All these projects contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), especially goals 9.1 (building resilient infrastructure) and 9.4 (upgrading infrastructure).

These actions will be largely funded by the European Union through the Spanish Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, financed by the European Union’s NextGenerationEU initiative.

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