Gran Canaria train still in the works

The Cabildo de Gran Canaria, it has emerged this week, is still pushing forward with long talked of plans for connecting the capital, Las Palmas, with the south via train line.

The technical project for the Gran Canaria train has reportedly entered its final planning phase with the Cabildo de Gran Canaria and the Canary Islands Government collaborating to begin implementation. A set schedule of technical meetings has been confirmed which will begin at the end of March with follow-up meetings planned and confirmed. The transport model that the Cabildo is driving forward forms part of a more global vision for transport in the Canary Islands.

The Ministry of Territorial Policy has awarded, after a previous tender contest failed, partial revision to the train route layout between the Capital and the South focusing on the final seven kilometres. Plans for that stretch were suspended in 2015 to accommodate the El Veril Siam Park water park attraction, which is to be sited where the penultimate station had originally been planned.

Modification of the planned corridor for the railway line between Las Palmas and San Bartolomé de Tirajana, between kilometres 47 and 56, has already been contracted. After the first unsuccessful attempt, the Cabildo has now managed to award a tender for this partial revision,  with a budget of €88,075 and an execution period of 18 months.  The route section is to be modified after it was suspended in 2015 because the Siam Park Maspalomas water park attraction at El Veril prevented the original plan from being continued as the land where the station had been envisioned was assigned to the €60 million project, promoted by German entrepreneur Wolfgang Kiessling.

The partial revision to the route intends to “reduce considerably the territorial effect” of the line and modify the El Veril station. The successful contractor reviewing the plan, awarded for Integral Management of Projects and Investments in the Canary Islands, is obliged to analyse the possible creation of a new station at an alternative area, Tarajalillo-Lilolandia.

The approved train line corridor runs between Santa Catalina in the  northern capital, Las Palmas, and Meloneras in the touristed south, and now includes 11 stations.  The total cost of this project is estimated at €1.5 billion and most of the works projects have to be delivered by this summer to the company, set up for the project, Ferrocarriles de Gran Canaria.

The Cabildo, together with the Government of the Canary Islands, has sought national and European funds to start construction by 2018 and intend to focus their initial efforts on the stretch between San Telmo and Playa del Inglés, which the train will eventually travel in around 25 minutes.

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