ALTEA residents living near the trenet line are so used hearing the hourly trains that they barely register the noise. But that sound has been missing for almost six months and many people did a double-take on hearing the train and its familiar hoot once more.
A €9.2 million modernisation and maintenance overhaul on 11.4 kilometres of Line nine track between Altea and Calpe has now been completed although the trenet service will not be resumed until the end of this month.
Twenty-five FGV train drivers have spent the last week testing the track and the newly-installed automatic train protection (ATP) signalling and safety system. This helps to prevent collisions when a driver fails to observe a signal or speed restriction and applies the emergency brakes if he or she doesn’t respond to the warnings.
Headroom has been increased in tunnels and the many cuttings and embankments reinforced to prevent rock falls and other mishaps. Inside Altea itself, the deep cuttings between the Garganes stop and the main station have been covered and are now false tunnels.