Tuesday, August 16

The EU shortens the launch of the AVE from Vigo to Porto by ten years

The Vigo-Oporto AVE construction is accelerating. Or that is at least the claim of the European Commission, which has just given it a more preferred status. In the current plans of the EU, its conclusion is set for the horizon of the year 2050, since it considers this line of a “global” character, something like secondary. But in the new regulation of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) that the community government presented last Tuesday, The AVE between Vigo and Porto is raised the priority level in order to advance the completion ten years and complete its conclusion in the year 2040, passing access to a bag of 30,600 million euros with which its construction can be financed.

The European Commission, in a new proposal, proposes that the line be operational in 2040 at the latest and allows it to be co-financed from a fund of 30,600 million

The EU currently operates with two schedules to develop these transport networks in their different modalities. The “global” goes to 2050, but the “basic”, Considered a priority, it has an execution period of 2030. However, the European Commission now proposes an intermediate category, called “expanded basic”, which is what the Vigo-Oporto AVE has put into, so that with respect to previous plans it means advancing the status of EU priorities .

In any case, it is a proposal that before becoming effective must be endorsed by the European Council and the European Parliament in a process that may well last a year and a half.


A dozen railway projects throughout Europe fall into this new category, but in its proposal the European Comission refers explicitly, by way of example, to two lines “to be completed by 2040”: the one between Vigo and Porto and another between Budapest and Bucharest. One characteristic of both is that they are cross-border projects.

However, the deadline is only a reference and nothing would prevent the high-speed line between Vigo and Porto from being completed before 2040, something that depends, above all, on the will of the governments of Spain and Portugal, which are still in a very initial phase of defining the routes and characteristics of this corridor.

Last May, the Portuguese Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, informed the president of the Xunta, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, that construction would begin on the section between Braga and the border with Galicia and “from the year 2025”, but without indicating the completion period. And in the Spanish case, everything remains to be decided, such as the southern exit from Vigo to avoid the detour through Redondela, a project that is still in the study phase of alternatives, and the continuity of the route to Tui on a new road.

Of course, both countries already know that they will be able to opt for the 30,600 million bag with which the trans-European transport networks will be financed in the EU, although the allocation of funds is not direct, but will be settled in a process of competitive competition between all member countries.

The decision of the European Commission was highlighted yesterday in the Galician Parliament by the general director of Mobilidade, Ignacio Maestro, since it also involves incorporating the line to the Northwest Atlantic Corridor, which for the EU already has the status of “priority”, and to give continuity to Portugal.

“It is very good news for Galicia, since it is a very important accolade”

He said, at a request made by the Galician Government

But it is not just a demand from the Xunta. The governments of Spain and Portugal had agreed in February this year to relaunch the railway connection between Galicia and the Portuguese country through the Vigo-Oporto line and connect the two cities with a high-performance train that makes the trip in one hour and It is thus competitive against traveling by car. For this, both executives announced at the time that jointly propose to the European Union to incorporate the 150-kilometer section between Vigo and Porto into the basic network (priority) of the Atlantic Railway Corridor in order to be able to resort to European funds with which to finance the modernization works.

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The European Commission opted for an intermediate solution, by accepting its development as a project of the “extended basic” network, giving a term ten years longer than that proposed by Spain and Portugal, but also ten years less than the status in which it is now.

The connection between Vigo and Porto was always marked by frustrations, because at specific moments of impulse to this line years of paralysis followed, until in 2020 Portugal decided that its commitment to this line was final, giving it priority over the link with Madrid.


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