THE RESTORATION of the Denia-Gandia tram link that shut in 1974 has moved a step forward with regional operator FGV being told to start work on drafting a project.

The Marina Alta and La Safor areas have long been regarded as getting ‘second-rate’ treatment over public transport compared to other parts of the Valencian Community, leading to claims that it has impacted negatively on local economies.

An FGV study published last May said reopening the line was ‘feasible’ at an estimated cost of around €250 million.

The Public Works ministry has given the go-ahead for project procedures to restore the service which would extend the Line 9 Alicante line which currently terminates at Denia.

A ‘wide’ gauge train service operates between Valencia and Gandia, therefore leaving a 35 kilometre gap without a tram or train between Gandia and Denia.

Public Works minister, Rebecca Torro, previously suggested that commissioning work and studies could be completed over the next three years with up to 12 new tram stations suggested.

It’s possible that the line could be operational within five or six years.

The ministry said that the restoration was ‘necessary’ and that ‘the coastal territory between the metropolitan areas of Alicante and Valencia is regarded as an area of the utmost social, economic, and environmental importance’.

Extending Line 9 would mean a direct link, albeit a slow one, between Alicante and Gandia where a new interchange would dove-tail with the existing railway station and services to Valencia.

Everything is still at the embryonic stage with many questions remaining to be answered.

They include details of the proposed route, locations of tram stations, and how long it would take to travel between Denia and Gandia.

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