Madrid - Barcelona - French Border Line

Urban Integrations

The effort is centred on the integration of this new infrastructure in the urban environment, reducing as for as possible disturbances to the inhabitants' life, and with special attention to environmental and mobility factors.



In the PIAC, citizens can collect information on the works, file complaints and process proceedings. The interested parties also have the possibility of monitoring the status of their proceedings

They offer personalized information, leaflets, explicative soffits and audiovisuals on the line construction process, centred on the sections close to the entry to Barcelona, as well as the first phases of remodeling and expansion of the terminal.

This initiative is performed within the framework of information policy and corporate social responsibility which Adif is carrying out in the works it executes.

  • Sants station
  • La Sagrera
  • Girona

Sants Station

The stand is located in the main lobby of Sants station.

At this information point citizens are explained the development of the high speed line construction at its passage through Barcelona and the expansion of Sants station.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Telephone: 93 495 61 27

PIAC Barcelona

La Sagrera

It is located in Baixada de la Sagrera, 2. Barcelona

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Telephone: 93 351 08 21

PIAC La Sagrera


PIAC Girona

It is located in the hall of de station.

Opening hours: Monday to Fridays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm 

Telephone: 972 20 94 15


Preliminary knowledge of the land and urban environment

Safety is Adif's maximum priority and, therefore, the project has thorough preliminary reports on the characteristics of the land. Furthermore, continuous safety controls shall be carried out during the construction process to detect any type of incident that may arise, both in the tunnel and on the surface and its surroundings. The preliminary aspects that have been studied include topography, geology and geotechnics of the land, climatology, hydrology and drainage, the route and the structures where the line will run underground.

The studies carried out offer a complete x-ray of the characteristics and behaviour of the different materials which form the ground and have determined the profile of the route and the construction procedures that are most suitable for that land. It is also important to have an in depth knowledge of the buildings situated in the vicinity of the works. Therefore, Adif has contracted a specialized company which certifies the characteristics and current state of each one to be able to establish any additional measures necessary to guarantee integrity, before, during and after the construction process of the new tunnel.

Safety and public information during the works

During construction of the tunnels, there will be continuous and constant monitoring of the process and the behaviour of the land and the buildings located in the vicinity.
For this purpose, various high-precision procedures are used, such as theodolites and accelerometers, already used at other times in the construction of the high speed line and they have produced excellent results.
Theodolites are precision apparatus which, by laser emissions against prisms which are installed at significant points of the constructions, collect information automatically, permanently and in real time on any movement which may arise in the structures with a precision in the order of one millimetre. Each theodolite collects information from an average of 70 prisms by permanent cycles which automatically restart every 30 minutes.

Accelerometers are devices which, similar to seismographs, record the most minimum vibration in the land. They are installed beside buildings and make continuous measurements, which are immediately collected and processed using a computer system which has scales to detect any deviation, which makes it possible to have reliable and very rigorous information on the behaviour of the land and the buildings.

The measures shall be complemented by periodic technical monitoring reports of the different properties throughout the route, to obtain complete and immediate information on its evolution during tunnel construction.

One of Adif's priority commitments is to maintain permanent dialogue with citizens. For this reason, the information and service offices in Barcelona, Girona, Montcada and Montmeló will give personalized attention to claims, doubts and queries from residents, especially, of the whole route during the work execution phase, offering detailed explanations regarding them. During construction, there is continuous and constant monitoring of the process and the behaviour of the land and the buildings located in the vicinity.


The section is 5.64 km long, part of the current Barcelona Sants station and runs in a tunnel to the future Sagrera station. The first 422 m and the last 395 m shall be carried out by the cut and cover tunnel system between walls and the remaining 4,823 m shall be built with the use of a tunnel boring machine.

Among the singular elements of the project are the construction of the main installations shaft, located at the end of the route, and two additional shafts for the introduction and extraction of the tunnel boring machine, as well as 12 shafts for emergency exits from the tunnel, of which 5 shall also be used as ventilation shafts, and of them another two as groundwater pump shafts.

Before tunnel excavation starts, which will be done from the vicinities of La Sagrera station towards Sants station, the constructive process includes different phases of which study and preparation shall involve a development period that will be extended longer than 12 months:

  • Construction and assembly of the tunnel boring machine by the awardees joint venture, which will take no less than one year.
  • Identification, during the first months of the work, of the urban services affected by the construction of the vertical ventilation shafts and evacuation in the event of emergency.
  • Diversion and replacement of these services (electricity, gas, water, sanitation, telephony, etc.).
  • Construction of ventilation and evacuation shafts.
    This phase shall not be tackled until service replacement has concluded and provisional diversions of pedestrian traffic and vehicles obliged by the replacement have been agreed with the City Council.
  • Preparation of the installation shaft and start-up of the tunnel boring machine, as well as the installations for manufacturing and stockpiling of dowels for the cladding of the tunnel.
  • Start of tunnel excavation.

With respect to the type of tunnel boring machine that is going to be used, it will be manufactured especially for this job. It shall be Earth Pressure Balance (ESP) type, 11.4 metres in excavation diameter. Its most outstanding characteristics include that it allows perforating the earth without altering its intrinsic balance conditions, whilst assembling cladding dowels, which give the tunnel's resistant structure, as the excavation advances.

Tunnel construction between Sants and La Sagrera is carried out at all times by maintaining strict safety controls and in depth knowledge of the land. These measures are specified by preliminary examinations of the buildings located within the route and auscultation controls and sensors during its execution, which are installed both in the surrounding buildings and in the actual tunnel. The constructive process chosen, by the use of the tunnel boring machine in a large part of the section, contributes to reducing the possibility of disturbing the land and the buildings located in the vicinity.

With the same objective, all buildings with special structural characteristics have also been studied. One example of this is the Sagrada Familia. A system has been designed for this which shall guarantee maximum safety of the ensemble, which consists of a pile wall of 1.5 m in diameter and around 40 metres deep, a longitudinal concrete cement footing beside the wall, of 3x3 metres and consolidation grouting to improve the land

Sagrera - Nus de la Trinitat section

Recently, the platform works of the La Sagrera-Nus de la Trinitat section have been awarded. With a length of 4.24 kilometres, this section, -which is divided into two sectors, that of Sagrera and that of Sant Andreu-, shall run completely underground through a cut and cover tunnel between concrete walls. As singular elements stand out the transfer of the infrastructure of the conventional gauge Maçanet and Mataró lines and the execution of a fly-over (track crossing at a different level) to cross the highs peed line track. Furthermore, the construction of a new suburban train station in Sant Andreu Comtal stands out.

Some characteristics of the subsections:

  • Nus de la Trinitat-Montcada: (4.75 Km)
    As singular element in the route stands out a tunnel of 3,709 metres long, of which 2,900 will be executed with a tunnel boring machine 11.30 metres in external diameter and 64.77 square metres of free section.
  • Montcada i Reixac-Mollet del Vallès: (6.12 Km)
    As singular elements figures the construction of three viaducts over Riera de Caldes, 105 m, Riera Seca, 205 m, and Riera de Gallecs, 31 m. Furthermore, in this section the last 260 m of Montcada tunnel will be built, whose total length is 3,969 m (the remaining 3,709 m correspond to the previous section, Nudo de la Trinidad-Montcada).
  • Mollet del Vallès-Montornés del Vallès: (3.34 Km)
    The most outstanding work of this section is the burying of the railway infrastructure on its passage through the municipal district of Montmeló. The works will consist of the building of a cut and cover tunnel between 1,220 square metre walls whereby the new high speed line and the current Iberian gauge line will run underground. Other singular elements are the replacement of the viaduct over the River Congost by two of new construction with lengths of 295 and 230 metres for the highs speed line and another of 230 metres which will give service to Iberian gauge trains. A new underground station shall also be built which will replace the current Montmeló station.
  • Montornés del Vallés - Lla Roca del Vallés: (14-4 Km)
    It has five viaducts as singular elements with lengths of 229, 186, 774, 224 and 136 metres and four artificial tunnels with lengths of 616, 146, 469 and 658 metres.


The section called "Túneles urbanos y estación de Girona, Fase 1" (Urban tunnels and Girona station phase 1), consists of two tunnels, of 1,297 and 1,564 metres in length, respectively, excavated by tunnel boring machine.
The first runs from the Mas Xirgu industrial estate to the new underground station in Girona, under Oviedo and J. Mª Gironella streets. The second runs from the new station to the district of Sant Ponç, under the streets of Santa Eugenia, Plaça de la Devesa and river Ter.

Technical characteristics:

  • Dual track tunnel of 3,640 m in length
  • It shall be executed by EPB tunnel boring machine, except in the station area, where the tunnel system will be performed between walls
  • Internal diameter of the tunnel: 10.4 metres
  • Equipped with double track, fixed, with international gauge (1,435 mm)
  • 60 kg/metre rail UIC type
  • Concrete sleepers and next generation track apparatus
  • 2x25 Kv, 50 Hz overhead power cables
  • Digital ERTMS and ASFA traffic safety systems and fixed and mobile telecommunications control
  • Emergency exits, side corridors for evacuation and maintenance, ventilation shaft and cutting edge technology in civil protection and safety Investment: 278,629,970 Euros

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Barcelona Sagrera Alta Velocitat

Public trading company established to coordinate all the projects corresponding to the implementation of High Speed in Barcelona.

Barcelona Sagrera Alta Velocitat