Albacete will become a key hub for the Madrid-Levante link. The construction of a gauge changeover system, in which USD 7.3 million has been invested, serves as a connecting element in both directions, between the future high speed line, built to the standard gauge of 1435 mm used in most other parts of Europe, and the existing lines running to south-east Spain, which are built to the Iberian gauge of 1668 mm. This will enable trains going to and from Alicante and Murcia to run on high speed lines from Albacete to Madrid and vice versa, resulting in travel time being reduced. The Madrid-Levante High Speed line represents a construction challenge and a great financial effort. With 955 km and a total investment of EUR 12,410 million, this HSL will boost Spain’s economic development.
The new Albacete Vialia station represents an investment of EUR 48 million by the Spanish government and has created more than 300 new jobs in the city. It is a modal transport hub that will offer services to a population of approximately 230,000 inhabitants.
The new station is a model for European railway stations in terms of its innovative concept and its architectural features. It is a two-storey building with an area of 21,000 m2. Approximately 13,000 m2 will be allocated to commercial operations and other uses, with 43 business establishments, leisure, shopping facilities and 563 parking spaces. Moreover, the photovoltaic panels covering 1,200 m2 of the outdoor car park canopy, along with other energy efficient measures, will reduce CO2 emissions by 172 tonnes a year. The station has access for disabled persons through an underpass and connecting lifts, not to mention a green area covering 6,200 m2.