The Santa Marina tunnel, the largest tunnel on the Madrid-Extremadura High Speed Line, has been brought into service along with the rest of the route between Plasencia and Badajoz. This tunnel, built by Sando in a joint venture, belongs to the Grimaldo-Casas de Millán section.
His Majesty King Felipe VI, accompanied by the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, travelled by train along this first phase of the Madrid-Extremadura High-Speed Line. The Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (Mitma), Raquel Sánchez, and the President of the Regional Government of Extremadura, Guillermo Fernández Vara, among other authorities, also took part in the inauguration ceremony.
As the Ministry has informed, these first 150 kilometres of high-speed platform in Extremadura will allow mixed passenger and freight traffic.
Santa Marina tunnel
The Santa Marina tunnel, built by Sando, stands out within the route that has been put into operation. Built entirely in the province of Cáceres, it crosses the Los Castaños pass with a length of 3.4 kilometres. This single-tube tunnel is the longest of the entire Madrid-Extremadura High Speed Line.
The design of the Santa Marina tunnel can accommodate two slab-mounted tracks and has a useful cross-section of 85 m2. It also has two auxiliary evacuation galleries, one 1.3 km long parallel to the tunnel, and another 200 metres long perpendicular to it, as well as two platforms next to each of the tracks that act as evacuation corridors.
Largest tunnels in the country
In recent decades, Sando has participated in the construction of almost all the high speed lines built in Spain. In this sense, it has developed some of the most complex projects, especially in the field of tunnels.
Sando has built the longest tunnels on the Almería-Murcia line, specifically the 7.5 km Sorbas tunnel, and the 7.25 km La Cabrera tunnel on the Madrid-Castilla La Mancha-Comunidad Valenciana-Región de Murcia line. In this project, Sando surpassed the world record for tunnel boring machine progress by up to seven times.