NEWS DESK THE Balearic Transport Ministry said yesterday that building the train line extension from Manacor to Arta through the urban area of the city will provide many more economic, environmental and technical advantages than if the track were to be built underground.

At a press conference, Minister Gabriel Vicens explained that the train will be limited to 50 km per hour in urban areas and 100 in the stretches between towns. He claimed that tunnelling underground would provide a great deal more inconvenience to the public and it would be “difficult to justify” cost-wise with the Central Government Ministry of Public Works, in view of the number of trains which would be passing along the line in ratio to the short distance of underground excavation. “Going underground” would cost 44.5 million euros and would take 2 years to complete, whilst the “overground option” would cost 13.2 million and take 10 months.

Vicens said the Ministry plans have been presented to the mayor of Manacor, Antoni Pastor. Although the railway service is island-wide and not just to suit people in Manacor, Vicens said he couldn't discount modifications being made to accommodate Manacor Council recommendations.