AVE ON TRACK
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.”