May 05, 2021, Huesca |
On April 15th, 2021, the EiS23 electronic interlocking was commissioned at the new passenger terminal of Canfranc. The opening was attended by authorities from France and Spain and Adif’s President, Isabel Pardo de Vera. The new station is using the former French side of the railway facilities at Los Arañones plain, where the impressive international station building will be refurbished into a five-star hotel by general contractor Acciona. All railway buildings will be adapted to new functionalities, including a welcome centre for pilgrims in the Camino de Santiago and, later on, a railway museum using the old locomotive depot.
The intervention at Canfranc Estación is a strong backing for the reopening of the international line between Huesca and Pau. On the French side, the reactivation of the Oloron-Bedous section in 2016 was a clear signal of the interest in easing the heavy freight traffic across the road tunnel, whose northern side ends up within a protected natural area. On the Spanish side, a study has just been awarded to assess the works to reopen the international Somport tunnel, closed in 1970 following a freight derailment at L’Estanguet on the French side. Studies are also ongoing for the electrification and eventual regauging of the Canfranc-Huesca section. In the meantime, polyvalent sleepers have been used in the new Canfranc station – on which refurbishment has also taken into account the necessary gauge for overhead contact line, whilst respecting the original 1928 structure.