Rail link to unite Orihuela and Torrevieja

The Mayors of Orihuela and Torrevieja, Emilio Bascuñana and Eduardo Dolón, as the representatives of the two largest hubs of the Vega Baja have presented the planned “Orihuela-Torrevieja / Orihuela Costa Railway Route”, prepared by the Department of Civil Engineering of the University of Alicante, under the direction of Professor Armando Ortuño.
The Orihuela Mayor explained that the joint project between both municipalities “responds to the great needs of the Vega Baja, with the union of the coast with the interior, in parallel with the CV-95, through a railway route’. The project will now be forwarded for evaluation by the Generalitat Valenciana and the Ministry.
The project has an estimated cost of 277.6 million euros, which includes, in addition to the railway route between Orihuela and Torrevieja, three stations, Bigastro-Jacarilla, San Miguel de Salinas and another in Torrevieja.
Professor Armando Ortuño outlined the details of the railway route that would take advantage of the CV-95 to reduce the cost. The project presents two alternative routes such as the route between the districts of Arneva and Hurchillo (the route through the Hurchillo mountain in the form of a tunnel) and from the Orihuela station with the CV-925 running between Hurchillo and Bigastro (from La Pedrera there would be a single route). The Torrevieja / Orihuela Costa station is proposed in two locations, the entrance through Los Balcones, next to the AP-7, or an alternative that raises the cost, as it is next to Torrevieja Hospital.
To minimise costs, the study proposes a single track with a maximum speed of 200 kilometers per hour, sharing a platform with the CV-95 with a complementary cycle-pedestrian lane. A total of 28 daily services are established between Orihuela and Torrevieja and vice versa (one train every half hour each way). The UA project estimates that the coastal train, which would later be complemented with another study on how the route would enter Torrevieja and how it would connect with CV-95, would have a flow of 1.2 million passengers, minimum, adding there are also those who would use this shuttle to go to the coast of the Vega Baja from the trains that stop in Orihuela.
“In the project we emphasize that it would increase the profitability of the Cercanías, AVE or long distance train lines that are already operating,” explained Ortuño.
The project includes an environmental analysis that includes the main determining factors when defining the route, such as the land of protected natural areas, urban planning, the risk of flooding, the morphology of the land and the existing infrastructures.
The more than 277 million euro cost of the route includes infrastructure, superstructure, expropriations and the three planned new stations.
The Mayor of Torrevieja, Eduardo Dolón, said: “It is the best news that the Vega Baja region can have, because it is a totally viable project and it is the reality that we deserve in the south of the Valencian Community.”
He added: “It is a good time for the VegaRenhace Plan to include a departure for these rail route alternatives, and we hope to be received by the president of the Generalitat Valenciana and the councillor so that they include an amount for the preliminary draft in the budgets.”