Basque Transport Ministry halfway through the railway works to link Altza with Pasaia and Galtzaraborda


Basque Transport Ministry halfway through the railway works to link Altza with Pasaia and Galtzaraborda


The square in the town centre will be provisionally fitted out so that the general public can use it again this summer
Euskal Trenbide Sarea (ETS), the publicly-owned company coming under the Basque Government's Ministry of Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport, is already halfway through the work on the underground rail bypass being built between Altza and Galtzaraborda.  The station in the Altza neighbourhood will no longer be an end-of-line facility, but will become a link of the Topo line, connecting it with Pasaia.  

The Basque Government's Minister for Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport, Iñaki Arriola, saw the progress of the ETS works this morning during a visit to which the town's mayor, Teo Alberro, and other members of the local council were invited.  The Deputy Minister for Infrastructures and Transport, Pedro Marco, and the ETS General manager, Ernesto Martínez de Cabredo, were also part of the Basque Government's Transport delegation. The delegates were also able to go down the line's tunnel, which runs entirely between the transversal gallery (Sasuategi) and the future Pasaia station.  The section is currently being drilled between the gallery and the Altza terminal, with 200 metres still to be excavated to reach the latter. 

The delegation then went to the square, where the screens (walls) of Pasaia station are practically finished. Work has begun on laying the upper slab (roof) of the future Pasaia station.  Once the slab has been laid, excavation of the terminal will begin under it, in other words, underground, to lessen the impact on the urban fabric.  "This procedure will mean that the citizens will be able to use the section of the Alameda boulevard between Hamarretxeta and Eskalantegi for summer, with basic urban amenities", explained Iñaki Arriola.

The group then went to the Molinao stream, which has returned to its usual course, after having been deviated, and once the many services had been completed in that area. 

As regards the Galtzaraborda area, there is only a single line of anchoring left and the outlet is ready. Work is currently underway on the tunnel's installations, the treatment plant, the decanters, the accesses for the arrival of the wall chaser... Excavation at this point is expected to start in a couple of months and will last for around a year, before this point is linked to Pasaia station. 

The two-kilometre section between Altza and Galtzaraborda will completed the dual-track rail bypass that connected the Topo line from Herrera to Altza in September 2016. Once it comes into service, the Topo will be able to run trains every 7.5 minutes for the passengers of Pasaia and Galtzaraborda. 

The new Pasai Antxo underground station will be located under the square next to Calle Gure Zumardia (street). Access will be from Calle Eskalantegi and the lift, in the same square, next to the church.  The emergency exit will be located near to Calle Hamarretxea. The layout has side platforms, even though their stairs end in a single vestibule, which leads out to the street.  There will also be a lift connecting the vestibule with the two platforms. 

The Altza Galtzaraborda section of the Topo is not the only work that the department headed by Arriola is going to carry out in Pasaia. At the end of last year, ETS put out to tender the works to access and enter the Port of Pasaia on metric rail gauge. This project aims to restore the connection in Gipuzkoa between maritime transport and the metric gauge railway. The initiative will allow some freight to be sent by rail and thus reduce road haulage traffic. 

The town of Pasaia Antxo will be one of the main beneficiaries of the Port of Pasaia into a new freight logistic hub of the Basque railway network. "Once the Topo works have concluded and the new Pasaia underground station has been put into service, the demolition will take place of the current terminal on the viaduct that runs through the centre of the town just metres from some buildings.  We made this commitment when we announced the project and we are doing what it takes to ensure that it will improve the quality of life of the people of Pasaia in the medium term," stressed Minister Arriola. 

 Teo Alberro, the Mayor of Pasaia, stressed that "today's visit is particularly important for Pasaia Council, as this work is obviously impacting the daily life of the people of Pasaia in general and those of Antxo in particular. It is essentially that the work is carried out according to the planned timeline to be able to advance in the design of the future town that the people of Pasaia deserve".