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STAFF REPORTER WORKS on the Manacor to Arta railway line, being built along the route of a previous track which shut down several decades ago, are reportedly “making good progress.” Majorcan Railway Services Managing Director Bartomeu Gual said yesterday that construction is scheduled to be completed within a year.

Every day, dozens of workers are furthering the construction project which aims to reopen the stations of the Llevant district of Majorca - apart from Manacor and Arta, these include Sant Llorenç des Cardassar, Son Carrió and Son Servera.

Drawing board plans have taken yet another step closer to reality with the arrival of the tram-style train rolling stock units arriving in Palma from manufacturing yards in Valencia.

Despite the healthy rhythm of the works, Gual admitted to them being about two months behind schedule, confirming it is more likely to be the winter of next year when the track finally opens. But once the rail line is complete, the electrification work will still need to be erected. Gual said that so far as the stage of construction at the moment is concerned, there remains about 30 percent of major earthworks to complete. “We're forging ahead with the heavy plant movement at the moment,” he explained “so that the worst is out of the way by the time the tourist season starts in the latter part of April.” The Balearic Transport ministry has also made a policy of restoring the old station buildings at Son Carrió, Son Servera and Arta. The premises at Sant Llorenç has already been reformed - in fact has been “waiting” for the arrival of the new train since 2009.

However, still at drawing board stage are the complementary works on 28 kilometres of track, such as underpasses and in a deliberate strategy to avoid any need for level crossings - the repositioning of access roads. Particular attention is to be paid to trackside drainage so that there is no undermining of retaining walls on either side, and to highlighting the architectural heritage of 14 bridges which were built between 1916 and 1921.