Work has begun on the South International Corridor running east to west through Portugal to the Spanish border.
The project will link the Portuguese port cities of Lisbon, Sines and SetÃºbal to Caia, close to the south western Spanish border city of Badajoz.
The corridor will combine new and existing rail lines, and will be able to accommodate 51 freight trains a day.
Railway Gazette reports that the corridor will include a 79.4km line connecting Ã‰vora in south central Portugal to Elvas on the east border. This will cost €530m and will be Portugal’s longest railway built in the past 100 years.
Tenders for various projects have been called for, including:
- A 38.4km line running between Alandroal to Elvas, costing €220m
- A €105m, 20.5km railway connecting Freixo and Alandroal
- Civil works on a €65m rail line between Ã‰vora and Freixo. Construction on the 20.5km project is due to start in March 2019 and take 18 months
- A electrification and tracklaying contract worth €128m for a 105km project between Ã‰vora and Caia.
Portuguese firm Teixeira Duarte has already won a €15m contract to upgrade a 11km line between Elvas and Caia, including redeveloping two bridges, clearing four level crossings and preparatory work for signaling and electrification.
Image: AntÃ³nio Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal, Mariano Rajoy, Prime Minister of Spain and Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport