Alicante
Metro, tramway and light rail

In what seems like no time at all, Alicante has become a railfan enthusiasts wet dream. Starting out with a long-standng narow guage service, the.region now offers fans and even local commuters the choice of subway, tramway and light rail. Or, as the locals call it, tram, tram-tren, and tren.

Being the second largest city in the state of Valencia, it was no surprise to learn that the system was built and is run by the same authority that runs the metro for the city of Valencia Signs are in Spanish, English and Valencian, a form of the Catalan language.

Two light metrorains wait at Mercado station on the Alicante subway
Light Metro

The Alicante metro consists of two lines, Lines 1 and Line 3, both of which share the same trackage for a considerable distance.  Line 1 functions more as an express train, passing but going parallel to many of Line 3's stations.  Line 1 then extends two stations past Line 3's stop to its terminus at Creueta, where an interchange with the interurban exists. Line 1's single
track length is 44 km.

The subway section consists of 4.2 km and 4 stations in the city center. The system first opened in 2003, with the first two stations of the underground section opening in 2007.

A new Line 2 opened on August 31, 2013. The new 14 station, 9 km line connects the city center with the university. Of the 9 km, 1.6 km is a shared underground section wil lines 1, 3 and 4.

Also under construction is an underground extension to Line 1 known as the Serra Grossa tunnel. A further extension to the railway station began but currently lies dormant due to funding issues. Which means that right now, Spain is broke.

Additional lines are planned to Elche and Benidorm, where extensions of the tramway will invade the respective towns.
Youtube link
Line 3 cab ride








Tramway


Alicante's tram, also known as Line 4, is wholly above ground and mostly street running. It parallels Lines 1 and 3 briefly, sharing three connecting stops, and then turns right and heads to the call of the sea.

In July 2013, the service on the line's spur 4L was suspended due to low ridership.

Youtube link



Tram-Train


Alicante's tram train is similar to New Jersey's Riverside Line or Ottawa's O-Train, except that it is in the process of conversion to electric traction.  The section that has already been converted is known as Line 5, and currently connects with the metro at Crueta station and runs through to Benidorm Station. Line 9, the diesel version,  connects Benidorm (where
streetcar service is planned) further along the coast to Denia, 86 km from Alicante's city center. The diesel section is run by Spain's national railway company, FEVE. As Line 9 is electified, it will mutate into Line 1.

DMU's operate on the trolley tracks as well, going beyond El Campello.
Official home page
Tramway
history
Description of the Alicante tramway (Spanish)
Route description
ERS photos
Project Alicante
Wikipedia (Spanish)
Alicante.com public transit home page (Eng)
Links to numerous videos, including BRT busway in Alicante
Some unique photos from the
Catalunya Transporft Forum