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High speed Basque Country line gets €600M boost

rail track 2by3

The Spanish government has received €600M (£530M) from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to complete a high speed rail line linking three cities in the Basque region.

The loan will allow completion of a project to build 160km of new high-speed rail line between Vitoria, Bilbao and San Sebastián along with related conversion and connection works.

The agreement was signed in Madrid by EIB vice-president Román Escolano and Juan Bravo, chairman of Ministry of Development offshoot Adif Alta Velocidad.

It represents the first slice of £890M of financing approved by the bank last month, after earlier loans in 2012 and 2013 worth £1.25bn.

The new line has been designed for speeds of up to 250km/h, eventually halving the travel time from Madrid to Bilbao to around two and a half hours.

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