It is usual for a train to have to wait before entering the Sants station and accumulate a few minutes of delay that could be avoidable. The solution to the problem was written a few years ago and consists of something as simple and at the same time complex as the rearrangement of the tracks of the main station Barcelona so that the loading and unloading of passengers can be done with greater flexibility and the service thus gains in reliability and punctuality.
Users of the lines R1, R3 and R4, who use the saturated Plaza Catalunya tunnel, are the ones who will most notice the improvement. Currently they only have two tracks for about 470 trains a day while the R2 and medium-distance convoys, which come from Passeig de Gràcia, represent a hundred fewer circulations each day but, on the other hand, they have six routes.
When the works are completed, each tunnel will have four tracks at its disposal, two in each direction. So users will go down to a platform and the train that takes you to your destination will pass through either track interchangeably. With this system, in addition, flexibility is gained and you can react better to possible incidents quickly.
The project, which involves investment of more than 8.9 million euros, it begins to materialize after a long time going around in the offices of the railway infrastructure manager (Adif). If nothing goes wrong, next Monday, June 1, the works of the project that is known in railway slang as 4 + 4 are due to start due to the resulting distribution of the tracks corresponding to each of the two tunnels.
Just before the coronavirus paralyzed everything, Adif already carried out previous work in the lobby of the Sants station, eliminating the glass partitions that separated some areas and has resulted in a much more open space for Rodalies and mid-distance that encompasses tracks 7 to 14. The other six correspond to high speed and are out of this operation, maintaining its normal operation.
The first phase of the works in the least visible area, that of the tracks, will last until the end of August. During this period, one of the routes (9) will be canceled to move it to the new position, infrastructure will be renewed and the catenary and security installations will be adapted to the future configuration.
While the works last, the information measures will be reinforced with customer service personnel and specific signs as some trains may park on different tracks than the usual ones. As for the affectation of circulations, only the last three trains of the day on R2 will be modified, which will continue passing through Sants but instead of having a stop on Passeig de Gràcia they will do so at Plaza Catalunya and Arc de Triomf.
In subsequent phases, after the summer, selective deviations will be made depending on the needs of the works. To these works, in the coming months, a section of the R4 between Martorell and Penedès will have to be added to tackle the installation of the third thread of the Mediterranean corridor, as well as the expected transfer of the Maresme line tracks as they pass. for the future station of La Sagrera.
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