Madrid - Castilla La Mancha - Valencian Community - Region of Murcia line
Technological evolution should not be at odds with environmental sensitivity. The Ministry of Public Works and Adif advocate and promote the development of a train which is genuinely sustainable and respectful to nature.
Integration of the train with the environment forms a substantial part of the philosophy that inspires all actions of the Ministry of Public Works, in which those entrusted to Adif are also registered, which during the works scrupulously respects the conditions that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) specifies for each section of works or with the protection and conservation of archaeological and cultural heritage.
On the other hand, one of Adif's main concerns is respect for the environment. Therefore, 12% of the construction budget of high speed lines is allocated to guaranteeing their environmental integration, ensuring compliance with the Environmental Impact Statements and performing improvements in the environment voluntarily.
Corrective measures have been performed in the whole line to achieve environmental and landscape recovery of the lands crossed by the line and to facilitate the crossing of the infrastructure through the fauna.
A total of 350 fauna crossings have also been built. These crossings allow the permeability of the fauna so that their mobility is not affected within the ecosystem. The headroom of these crossings allows the transit of hoofed animals (deer, roe deer, boar, etc.)
The execution rates of the work adapt to the nesting periods of the birds and those construction techniques which minimize impact on the natural environment have been chosen.
Some of the most important works and discoveries related to the environment and archaeological and cultural heritage, which demonstrate Adif's interest in protecting the environment and cultural heritage, are shown below.
EL REGAJAL NATURAL PARK (Torrejón de Velasco – Cuenca section)
In its beginnings, between Aranjuez (Madrid) and Ontígola (Toledo, the new line passes close to the area known as “Mar de Ontígola”, a wetland located in the El Regajal Nature Reserve (Toledo). To cross this area and protect the flora and fauna of this environment to the maximum, El Regajal tunnel 4.7 km long, has been built. This tunnel has made it possible to conserve several greatly threatened endemic butterflies, of great environmental values.
El Regajal Natural Park is a spot of exceptional importance due to its flora and fauna. Here, botanical and especially entomological elements of extraordinary value are found, such as some highly threatened endemic butterflies, such as the “zeriynthia rumina”, known as the "harlequin butterfly" or “saturnia pyri”, a nocturnal moth also called “giant peacock”.
It has also protected the plant «great burnett», a bush associated to the gypsiferous cuts used by the «maculinea nausithous», a nocturnal butterfly endemic to this area. This butterfly, which deposits its eggs on the heads of the bush, which serve as food for the larvae, is in danger of extinction. In fact, it is only present in eleven localities in the Iberian Peninsula.
RECYCLING OF CONCRETE AND REDUCTION OF CONTAMINANTS (Horcajada – Naharros subsection(Cuenca)
In the rail route that runs between Horcajada and Naharros (Cuenca) the installation of a concrete waste recycling system has been adopted to minimize environmental impacts. This separates the washing water and the aggregate of the waste from the cement mixers. In this way, both resources are recycled in manufacturing new concrete.
Systems have also been used to reduce atmospheric contamination by installing ecological engines in all heavy vehicles. Likewise, a study has also been performed to see how noise affects the closest population centre to the works (Naharros).
GYPSUM CRYSTAL MINE(Horcajada,Torrejón de Velasco – Cuenca section)
In the tunnel mouth on the Horcajada side a gypsum crystal mine has been discovered from the Roman era. For this reason, an access to the mine has been left in order for the archaeologists to study the site.
“LO HUECO” PALEONTOLOGICAL SITE(Cuenca – Motilla del Palancar section)
The high speed works have made it possible to find a paleontological site in Fuentes (Cuenca), over 80 million years old, where remains of Titanosaurus have been found.
When, at the beginning of 2007, the heavy machines in charge of carrying out a extensive leveling reached the area of Fuentes for the passage of the Madrid-Valencia high speed railway track, nobody could imagine they would uncover, at 20 metres depth, a paleontological treasure called “Lo Hueco”, now considered by Spanish paleontologists as the best and richest site of dinosaurs in Europe.
During the works to uncover the fossils, the works were stopped in the area of the finding to make location, documentation, classification and protection easier, whilst the infrastructure construction works were performed in other areas of the section.
8,000 fossils have been extracted, including many articulated ones.
CONTRERAS RESERVOIR (Motilla del Palancar – Valencia, Hoces del Rio Cabriel section)
The area of Contreras Reservoir is a special case in terms of executing the works, designed and considered to cause the least possible impact on the environment.
Due to natural factors, the construction projects have borne in mind the already exiting environmental corridors, the execution rates of the works have been adapted to the bird nesting periods, and the construction techniques have been exclusively devised to minimize impacts.
A phonometric study and monitoring has been carried out (noise disturbance) of the area to adapt the construction of the section to the analysis specifications carried out, in order to establish exclusion areas and propose alternatives and recommendations when executing the works.
Special attention has been paid to the protected species which inhabit the area of the works, such as the Golden Eagle, Bonelli's eagle, Eagle owl and the Peregrine falcon. In order to identify the pairs of birds of prey, from the start to the end of the works, tracking and control shall be carried out to limit activities and adapt them to environmental requirements.
Throughout the work period, in the months of March to June, no clearing, blowing-up, earth movements have been performed; and night work has been avoided, all in a 9 km section.
The design and construction of the central arc of the Contreras Reservoir viaduct has complied, at all times, with the requirements of the Environmental Impact Statement of the area.
ENOVA ROMAN SITE (Xátiva – Silla section)
A Roman site of Els Alters was found in the vicinity of the town of Manuel L´Enova, which made it necessary to build two viaducts to preserve it. The archaeological remains found have been incorporated in the museum collections of the Directorate General of Valencian Cultural Heritage and Museums of the Autonomous Government of Valencia.
The archaeological remains have been covered with a geotextile blanket and filled with protective material to preserve the site.
These works have entailed an additional investment of close to 10 million Euros with the sole objective of preserving the site.
COMARCA l’HORTA SUR GREEN CORRIDOR (Xátiva – Silla section)
To improve integration of the infrastructures in the environment, Adif has built, parallel to the high speed infrastructure, between Alcáser and Torrent, a cycling and pedestrian track, with a plantation of native trees on the banks, for the use and enjoyment of the population.
- Video: New Cuenca station. (November 2009)
Main details of the new Cuenca high-speed station, which will be operative in 2010.
Partnerships established for the remodelling of the railway network in the cities of Murcia and Cartagena.
- Cartagena Alta Velocidad, S. A.
Tunnelling of the Cartagena Railway Network
- Murcia Alta Velocidad, S. A.
Tunnelling of the Murcia Railway Network.
- Valencia Parque Central Alta Velocidad 2003 S.A.
Remodelling of the city of Valencia’s railway network.