Work has finally begun for the AVE fast track railway near Ronda, as an engineering company was reported to have started working with the aim of digging down to 160m to allow them to undertake preliminary geological studies in the area.
It confirms recent speculation that the network south from Antequera to Algeciras is continuing as previously planned, despite the current economic problems the country is facing.
As is to be expected from such a large project and to prepare the lines for high-speed trains, there will be closed lines for a period of approximately six months from the end of October, however alternative bus services will be provided for towns including, Ronda, Gaucin and Cortes.
There were concerns last year that many Costa del Sol rental properties bordering the current line from Ronda into the Genal Valley were to lose part of their land and these concerns remain partly unanswered.
Sources are quoted to have said, “At the moment there seem to be two options, one to build a tunnel from above Setenil coming out south of Arriate and another going up through the Sierra de las Salinas.”
Though Spain was slower to embrace high-speed rail in comparison to other countries, it finally joined the ranks after inaugurating its first line in 1992, between Madrid and Seville.
The Spanish government were recently reported to have boasted that next year will see the country “become the world leader, measured in kilometres of high-speed line”, overtaking Japan and France with 1,835km of track in service.
The director of AVE Services for the national railway company, Renfe, was quoted to say,"We are currently transporting 40,000 passengers a day."
He added, "It''s been a huge success, both commercially and in terms of public opinion. And there are two keys: competitive journey times, and a level of service at least as good as the airlines."
It is believed that the line should be finished by 2014.