Balearic leader Francesc Antich, accompanied by the minister of public works, housing and transport, Francesc Quetglas, will place the first stretch of line on the railway from Inca to Manacor at 11am today. The ceremony will take place at the Manacor railway station, in Avenida Fra Juniper Serra. Also present will be Maria Antonia Munar, the president of the Council of Majorca, Miquel Riera, the Mayor of Manacor, Joaquin Rodriguez, the director general of public works and transport and Antonio Santos, the manager of the Majorcan railway company (SFM). Speeches will be made by Quetglas and Antich. The reopening of the rail link between Inca and Manacor means that 30 kilometres of rails have to be restored. It will link Palma with Manacor in 55 minutes. The railway service has already been restored to Sa Pobla, and the re-opening of the Manacor service is part of the government's policy to improve public transport and persuade people to leave their cars at home. Other plans include extending the service to Alcudia and Cala Rajada. The government is also planning a viability study into new lines or the reopening of old lines in the medium term. The SFM plans to spend 150'000 euros (25 million pesetas) on this study which will also look into the financial return of any new lines proposed. Lines which may be reopened include those of Santanyi and Felanitx, linking both towns to Palma and Manacor. The study should be commissioned this month and will be ready in July. The SFM also wants to introduce the tram as a means of low impact urban transport, particularly in tourist areas, and this will also be considered in the viability study.


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