Atlantic Corridor


European Union's flag and motto

The High-Speed Atlantic Corridor will also be co-financed by the ERDF, through the Galicia 2007-2013 Operational Programme and TEN-T Funds.



The Atlantic Corridor runs 241 km from north to south on the Atlantic coast of Galicia, between Ferrol and the Portuguese border, connecting five of the seven largest Galician cities. This infrastructure connects with the Madrid-Galicia high-speed line in Santiago de Compostela.


The section that is being built and that is partially in service is the central section of the Atlantic Corridor, 155.6 km long, connecting A Coruña and Vigo. In December 2009, the entire route for diesel traction trains between Santiago and A Coruña (61.7 km) was put into service. Later on, in December 2011, this section was electrified and connected with and included in the new Ourense-Santiago-A Coruña high-speed line.


The remaining 93.9 km, in the section between Santiago and Vigo, alternate segments of track-bed that are finished and in service but without electrification, with others that are still being built.

The Corridor is completed with two shorter sections at the ends, A Coruña-Ferrol in the north (63.2 km) and Vigo-Portuguese Border in the south (22.1 km). Both sections are in the stages prior to construction.

Once they are finished, journey times will be approximately 45 minutes on the Vigo-Santiago section and about 25 minutes on the Santiago-A Coruña section, and a total of 1 hour and 10 minutes between Vigo and A Coruña, approximately.


Laying track

High speed was not possible on the old route of the conventional line, with a single non-electrified track. The project involves comprehensive improvement of the existing line and implementation of a double electrified track.

As a peculiarity, first the non-electrified track-bed with multi-service Iberian gauge (1,668 mm) is built. This type of gauge enables the access of freight trains, for example, to Galician ports.

The different sections are put into service as the construction finishes and are used by diesel trains running at 160 km/h. Later on they are electrified and they go from a possible maximum speed of 160 km/h to 250 km/h.

The last stage planned is the adaptation of the entire gauge to the UIC gauge (1,435 mm).


Ulla River viaduct pillars

The Atlantic Corridor is built in an area with a complicated terrain and densely populated areas.

The A Coruña-Vigo section will have 37 tunnels and will be 59.2 km long, accounting for 38% of the total route. The longest is the 8,252 m long A Madroa twin tube tunnel, built with tunnel-boring machines, between Redondela and Vigo. Other important tunnels are Meirama (3,468 m) and Bregua (2,993 m).

It also includes 32 viaducts, with a total combined length of 14.9 km. The longest is Sar, 2,411 m, and the one with the largest span (width between pillars) is Ulla, 240 m.

This 1,621.5 m viaduct crosses Ulla River close to its mouth and is one of the most peculiar works on the Atlantic Corridor because of its technical complexity.
It includes 11 pillars supporting a metal structure. The metal parts are assembled on the bank and are raised onto the pillars using a complex system with a pulley device.
Once it is finished, the metal platform will be situated 60 metres above the riverbed.


The Corridor combines refurbished stations with other newly-built ones:

  • A Coruña
  • Uxes
  • Cerceda-Meirama
  • Ordes
  • Santiago de Compostela
  • Padrón-Barbanza
  • Villagarcía de Arousa
  • Pontevedra
  • Arcade Halt
  • Redondela High-Speed
  • Vigo-Urzáiz


Façade of Vigo-Guixar station

The railway services in the city of Vigo have been operational at the Vigo-Guixar station since 28 August 2011, enabling the construction work to start on the new Vigo-Urzaiz. This new station is being built on the same site as the old one, which was demolished.

The new Vigo-Urzaiz station is being built in several stages. First, a provisional station will enable high-speed trains to get to Vigo, when the High-Speed Atlantic Corridor starts up, after the final station is finished. This station includes access to the final boarding walkway and platforms, being as cost-efficient as possible in terms of investment and operation.

A public-private partnership will be used for the rest of non-railway works.

The bus station, funded by the Government of Galicia, will be built later on.

Non-final project computer graphics of the new Vigo-Urzaiz station