Palma.—Much of the funding for the highly expensive project had been due to come from Central Government and indeed an agreement had been signed with the Balearic Administration to that effect. But as the financial crisis bit deeper, the project was put on hold. Excavators had successfully ploughed through the countryside in the east of Majorca in readiness for the new tram-style train which was to run along the route of the old track, dating from the 1970s, from Manacor to Arta.

Five municipalities have been affected, principally Sant Llorenç and Son Servera - in the case of the latter, the town has been cut in two and a new bicycle track ripped up to make way for the railway line. The Council of Majorca has been forced to open a new stretch of road, at considerable cost because the railway excavations had cut off Son Servera's link with the coastal resort of Cala Millor.

At the Balearic ministry for Territory and the Environment yesterday headed by Gabriel Company, there was little news: “There's nothing new to report, no decision has been taken,” said a spokesman.

In Arta and Son Carrió meanwhile, two large buildings have been erected which were due to act as storage and repair yards for the train, and since then have lain idle, awaiting to fulfill their purpose.

In Sant Llorenç, a station w as reconstructed on a former site in 2009 to await the arrival of the train, and the building is still there, unused. Various possibilities have emerged in press reports about the future of the line but nothing has been confirmed, not even if there is going to be a service at all. The expensive electrically powered rolling stock which was ordered for the route is now being used on the Palma to Inca line.