The dismantling of the tracks, undated seven months after being awarded

Almost three years ago the trains stopped running along the coastal route between Vandellòs i l'Hospitalet de l'Infant and Salou. 28.2 kilometers of single track that divided the municipalities of Vandellòs i l'Hospitalet de l'Infant, Mont-roig del Camp, Cambrils and Salou and which continue to do so while waiting for Adif to carry out the dismantling. Despite the fact that the mayors of the four affected municipalities hoped that the works would begin in September, after the last meetings held with representatives of the railway infrastructure manager, the dismantling of the tracks still does not have a start date.

In March the works were awarded, with a budget of 1.8 million euros, and in April the contract was signed with the UTE ASCH Infraestructuras y Servicios and Contratas Vilor. Seven months later, there is still no specific date to start removing the tracks from the railway route that was disaffected with the commissioning of the Vandellòs variant of the Mediterranean Corridor, in January 2020.

Adif sources detail the Daily that "the best solution is currently being studied so that the dismantling is as efficient as possible, so we cannot yet specify a specific date or procedure." In the technical specifications of the tender, it was already specified that the work plan indicated in the project was indicative and would be fixed at the time of contracting the works.

In this sense, the initial approach was to carry out the dismantling of the tracks from the south, starting from L'Hospitalet, to the Salou-PortAventura station, taking advantage of the tracks themselves. The idea was to load the removed material and transport it on freight trains to Adif warehouses or landfills. However, it is also possible that the transport of all the material is carried out by trucks. Not in vain, it should be remembered that since the trains stopped passing, the municipalities have been executing different works above the tracks to create transit areas for both pedestrians and vehicles.

In total, 66 km of rails must be dismantled, including the 28.2 kilometers of single track between Vandellòs and Salou-PortAventura, in addition to the complementary tracks that remained in the space of the four stations that operated on the old route. In addition, 55,500 sleepers, 39,000 cubic meters of ballast – the stones that serve as the base of the tracks – will be dismantled, as well as the 156 catenary posts that still need to be removed, all the signaling and the security, control and walkway structures. level.

It should be remembered that in 2020, once the trains stopped running, Adif's maintenance services already uninstalled the wiring of the catenaries and other elements susceptible to theft, as well as the level crossings in urban areas.

Greenway or urban avenues

The dismantling of the railway line should allow the four towns divided by the road to finally begin to define the future for these spaces. It remains to be clear how the transfer of the land will be carried out, which continues to be owned by Adif. In the south, in the towns where the tram is not expected to arrive, Mont-roig and L'Hospitalet de l'Infant, the bet is to create a space for naturalized walks, both for pedestrians and for bicycles, which serves to link the different nuclei of the coast in the form of a greenway.

For their part, both Cambrils and Salou are committed to converting the old train line into a civic axis, a large urban boulevard that will bring a new centrality to both cities. They will be avenues with large spaces for pedestrians, but also the forecast that the tramway will be implemented, which in the future will link both towns, both between them and with Vila-seca, Reus and Tarragona.

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