Rail links could boost local economy

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TORREVIEJA: Would benefit tremendously from EU funding.

MAYORS from across the Vega Baja are meeting with the Ministry of Development to endorse the project for a rail link south of Alicante. The endorsement would be the first necessary step to try and get EU funding to make it a reality.

The Mayors are going armed with data on how potentially profitable such a link would be for the Region. It comes following a study by the University of Alicante (UA) that reported the interchange of goods by rail could generate more than €187 million during its first 30 years of operation.

The team at the UA said an initial investment of around €24.3 million would be needed, but it would be “highly profitable” in terms of transporting goods via rail compared to road.

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Transporting a ton of goods by road to the European Union costs €3.94 per hour and per ton, while the report stated that by rail, it accounts for less than half the cost at €1.61 per hour and per ton. Road transport also generates more traffic congestion, air pollution and emissions of greenhouse gases.

The study by the AU estimates that there are about one million tons of merchandise which the Vega Baja imports each year to Europe, mainly to France and Germany. To this, the Baix Vinalopo’s powerful footwear industries can also be added.

San Isidro has been earmarked as the most suitable place to locate the logistics centre, or dry port, and it already has an existing train route of 2.3km.

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