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On May 5 the regional government of the Balearic Islands announced that it had begun to prepare tender documentation for the electrification of the remaining diesel-worked sections of the 1 000 mm gauge SFM network on Mallorca. Electrification of the routes from Enllaç to Manacor and Sa Pobla at 1⋅5 kV DC is now expected to be completed by the start of 2018, a year earlier than originally planned.
A budget of €32⋅6m has been set for electrification of the 31 km of single track between Enllaç and Manacor, including the construction of four traction substations and a power feed from the island’s electricity grid. Work to electrify the 12 km of single track between Enllaç and Sa Pobla has been set a budget of €14⋅5m, including two substations.
Work on both routes is expected to begin at the start of 2017 and take 12 months to complete. No additional rolling stock will be required, as SFM already has sufficient EMUs to operate both routes. Through services will run to and from Palma, meaning through passengers will no longer have to change trains at Enllaç.
As well as cutting journey times by 5 min and reducing CO2 emissions by up to 632⋅7 tonnes a year, completing the electrification of the SFM network is expected to reduce operating costs. ‘We will save €630 000 a year’, said regional transport minister Marc Pons, noting that SFM was currently spending 660 000 a year on fuel for its DMU fleet.
This article first appeared on www.railwaygazette.com
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