The lines to Manacor and Sa Pobla will be electrified by 2018. | cze


The further electrification of Majorca's railway network will cost 47.1 million euros for the Sa Pobla and Manacor lines from the Enllaç junction station near Inca. The government's director-general for transport, Jaume Mateu, has announced that work on both lines will be undertaken next year and that they will be operative in 2018. When the work is completed, the whole of the network will be electrified.

The upgrading of the lines will mean that journey times from Palma to Manacor will be reduced by around ten minutes and those to Sa Pobla by five minutes. Of the two projects, the Manacor line is the more costly. It has a budget of some 32 million euros, with the remainder of the investment going on the Sa Pobla line. Funding is to be split pretty much 50:50 between the regional government and the European regional development fund.

Tendering for the work will close at the end of September. Mateu is stressing that specifications for the bids include strict social clauses in respect of pay and working conditions as well as equality and access to employment for the longer-term unemployed. There are also insistences to do with transparency and ethical criteria. Penalties for delays in completing the projects could be as high as 10,000 euros per day if delays stretch to 40 or more days. A lower penalty of 6,500 euros would apply for shorter delays.

In addition to announcing the electrification work, Mateu explained that the national ministry for development is trying to "unblock" the provision of 400 million euros that were originally promised by the Zapatero government. This investment was blocked over the time that the Partido Popular were in power in both the Balearics and Madrid up to June last year. At present it is difficult for any such agreements to be reached because the national government is still operating in an acting capacity, but were the 400 million euros to be forthcoming, the investment could be channelled towards reactivating the project for the line from Manacor to Arta and undertaking the extension of the line from Sa Pobla to Alcudia.