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
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.
Line 3 cab ride
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.
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
of the Alicante tramway (Spanish)
public transit home page (Eng)
Links to numerous videos, including BRT busway in Alicante
Some unique photos from the Catalunya Transporft Forum