The Spanish government has given the green light to begin tendering for three sections of the planned high-speed line between Madrid and the Portuguese border.

The three sections cover a total of 16.8 kilometres between Plasencia station and Grimaldo in the Spanish province of Cáceres.

Once the complete, the new sections of track will become part of the Madrid-Extremadura-Portuguese border high-speed line.

The work has been valued at 100.8 million euros.


  1. This is typical of the Madrid centred approach by the Spanish government. Though important, this is a line to nowhere. It has to be remembered that the Portuguese government has had to cancel all its high speed rail projects for lack of funds. This project should be postponed until the Portuguese are able to get back on their feet and the connection to Lisbon can be made.

    What are far more important are the connections to France and the rest of Europe. These will bring real trade benefits to the country. The one through Barcelona to Figueres is up and running. The “Basque Y” connection between Irun/Bilboa/Vitoria is well advanced. The Vitoria – Bilbao and the Vitoria – Irun routes have seen a drastic cut in payments so the construction rate has been reduced to a minimum.

    The other part of the line from Vitoria to Burgos is not even at the planning stage. The rest of the line from Burgos to Madrid is finished or well advanced. The gap means that the trains will have to change axle widths and use slower vehicles, or by changing trains. All the advantages for this combined passenger/freight route will be lost for more years – probably until 2020+ when it originally expected to be open in 2016 – and there will be no through running of trains (SNCF and others) until it is finished.

    This is madness. It is just the same as Madrid trying, this weekend, to get the nomination for the 2020 Olympic games. Whether they would be profitable or not is not the case but the resources diverted into them subtract much needed funds, in an almost bankrupt country, from other more needy sections of society. It just shows how politicians get in the way of economic sense. Vote catching, vainglorious politicians produce white elephants. That sounds like HS2.


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