Might places such as Arta and Santanyi have their rail services restored? | Antoni Mart


Parliament's committee for the environment and land organisation has approved a motion presented by PSOE, Més and Podemos for re-establishing old railway lines.

The motion calls on the government to begin legal and technical procedures for reviving the old rail network and, if necessary, to amend the transport law in order that that this can be done. Moreover, it wants the government to activate agreements on railway issues and release 300 million euros for extending and improving the rail network.

A basic principle is the restoration of elements that used to be a part of the network, though the emphasis is more about re-establishing the network itself as opposed to restoring structures such as bridges. The motion is not intended as an alternative to the general plan for an expansion of the rail network that was approved back in 2006. Although this didn't happen, the motion stresses that restoration of rail heritage is becoming increasingly urgent.

The development of the old network reached a peak in the first half of the last century. It was then 267 kilometres in total length and had train services from the port in Palma to Inca, Alaro, Sa Pobla, Manacor, Arta, Santanyi, Felanitx and Soller. The process of dismantling the network began in the 1950s with the closure of the Consell-Alaro line. In 1964, the Palma-Santanyi line was eliminated and three years later so was the one to Felanitx. In both cases, closure led to the removal and sale of material, which makes reviving these lines more difficult. The Arta and Sa Pobla lines were not wholly dismantled. The Arta line was closed in 1977 and the Sa Pobla line was revived in 2001 following twenty years of non-use.