Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - Front Page -

A TEST train took to the high­speed train (AVE) tracks from Elche to Mur­cia yes­ter­day (Thurs­day) morn­ing, car­ry­ing min­is­ter for pub­lic works Iñigo de la Serna.

It left the AVE sta­tion in the Elche district of Ma­tola, which is not yet fin­ished but at an ad­vanced stage of con­struc­tion, at 09.30 and ar­rived in the Mur­cia district of El Reguerón 35 min­utes later hav­ing trav­elled at an av­er­age speed of 80km/h.

Nev­er­the­less, when the AVE is run­ning at full ca­pac­ity it is ex­pected to reach top speeds of 280km/h and ar­rive in 20 min­utes. The min­is­ter also an­nounced while in Mur­cia that he has or­dered the sec­re­tary of state for in­fra­struc­ture to carry out the vi­a­bil­ity study for a rail link to Ali­cante-Elche air­port.

He did not give any timetable for its con­struc­tion but the air­port al­ready has the ground dug out for the sta­tion.

The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion rec­om­mends that all air­ports with more than six mil­lion pas­sen­gers per year should have a rail link and Ali­cante-Elche could sur­pass 14 mil­lion in 2017. Pres­i­dent of Mur­cia re­gion, Fer­nando López Mi­ras said the min­is­ter’s visit proves work on the AVE to the city will be fin­ished by the end of this year, af­ter which the safety tests will be­gin.

“It will be pos­si­ble to get to Madrid from Mur­cia in just un­der 2.5 hours,” said Sr López Mi­ras. “Af­ter­wards they will have to con­tinue the AVE to­wards Carta­gena and Lorca. In the first few months of 2018 we will be count­ing down to the AVE be­ing in Mur­cia.”

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