On 3 June the President of the Government of Catalonia, Artur Mas, announced the commissioning of a new 20 km and 15 stations on Barcelona’s automated metro line 9. The new section will extend from the University zone to Barcelona-El Prat Airport and is forecasted to carry 23 million passengers annually when it opens in the first half of 2016.
The commissioning of this branch of the line will allow passengers to reach Terminal 1, the airport’s busiest terminal, by metro (currently only Terminal 2 has a rail connection, with the “Rodalies” train service). The metro line extension will connect three municipalities: Barcelona, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat and el Prat de Llobregat.
In length, the new section is comparable to metro line 1, the longest on the network, which is 20.7 km. The main construction characteristics in this section are:
- 13.6 km of tunnel built with a 9.4-meter diameter boring machine, with tracks on the same level
- 2.5 km of tunnel built with diaphragm wall, with tracks on the same level
- 0.4 miles executed in mine with two overlapping routes in two levels
- 3.6 km of tunnel executed with a 12-meter diameter boring machine, with tracks on two levels and integrated platforms
- 11 stations built with diaphragm wall (the most common in the metro network), closer to the surface, in areas with a lower urban density
- 4 well-type stations (like most stations of L9), located deeper in order to adapt to more highly urbanized areas with a dense infrastructure in the subsoil.
In addition to the 20 km between the University zone and Barcelona-El Prat Airport, a 6.3 km branch (the Zona Franca branch) will come into operation so that trains can access the workshops and depot.
State of the works
The sections of the tunnels and viaduct of the new section have already been executed, as well as the workshops area and most stations. Works still be carried out are: installations of cable and fiber optics, completion of track and catenary, civil engineering works, architecture and facilities in Zona Universitaria and Parc Logístic, closing platforms, installation of communication systems, automated elevators and escalators.
In parallel to these tasks, during the second half of this year, tests will begin on the whole system. Rolling stock tests are to start at Zona Franca in the fourth quarter of 2014.
The new section is estimated to cost of €2.9 billion, which will be added to the €1.5 billion of the section already in service.
L9 / L10
The L9/L10 is currently 11 km long with 12 stations. It runs from la Sagrera to Can Zam (Santa Coloma de Gramenet) and from la Sagrera to Gorg (Badalona). Ridership on this section is currently 8 million passenger trips per year. With the new stretch towards the Airport (L9 South), the line will be 31 km long and will have 27 stations in operation.
With the arrival of Line 9 to the airport, the Government aims to connect strategic areas and neighborhoods that currently do not have a metro service with other metro lines and transport networks.
There are plans to also open the Zona Franca branch to passengers in the future.
Source: Government of Catalonia