Ministers and mayors applaud a plaque announcing the Sa Pobla line electrification. | Govern balear

The electrification of the railway line from Enllaç to Sa Pobla will be completed next summer. The work will cost ten million euros, and celebrating the start of the project, the first stone was laid on Wednesday. Various politicians were gathered for the ceremony, including President Armengol, Vice-President Barceló and the mayors of Inca, Llubi and Sa Pobla.

The work will mainly be done at night in order to prevent disruption. Transport minister Marc Pons, another of the politicians in attendance, said that the twelve-months work will include the building of two electricity substations and the installation of fibre optics along the twelve kilometre stretch of track.

Pons added that the government has approved a tender for the creation of a new car park next to the station in Sa Pobla, work on which will start before the end of the year and cost 165,000 euros. Fairly obviously, he pointed out that this will make it easier for the public to park and use the train.

With electrification work having already on the Manacor line, President Armengol noted that the combined cost of 40 million euros will produce a more modern and sustainable rail system for an increasing number of passengers. "Use of the train will be more comfortable, quicker and better for the environment."

Electrification will cut the Sa Pobla-Palma journey time by ten minutes; it is currently sixty minutes. Vice-President Barceló observed that improved energy efficiency will mean a reduction in CO2 emissions; electrification should mean a cut of up to 60%.

The regional government is meeting 50% of the cost of the work. The other half is coming from the European Regional Development Fund.