High speed lines

Madrid-Galicia line Zamora-Lubián-Ourense and Ourense-Santiago


Una manera de hacer Europa

Financing for 2007-2013:

  • The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), through the Galicia Operational Programme 2007-2013, will provide approximately 128.5 million euros for the construction of platforms between Porto and Taboadela, which form part of the section between Zamora-Lubián-Ourense.
  • Platform construction between Lalín (Abeleda) and Santiago de Compostela (Ourense - Santiago section) will be co-financed by the Cohesion Fund-ERDF Operational Programme 2007-2013.

(Information at 31 March 2010)


The Ourense-Santiago axis is a part of the so-called North-Northwest Railway Corridor which will connect the northwest with the center and north of the peninsula by means of the Madrid-Segovia-Valladolid line.

In Santiago it connects with the Atlantic Axis (Ferrol-A Coruña- Santiago-Pontevedra-Vigo-Portuguese border) which is also under construction.

Information point and customer services desk

The PIACs provide up-to-date details on the status of construction and installation work, offering personalized information on specific aspects of different projects and responding to inquiries about construction processes, travel disruption and other relevant aspects. They also process requests for specific information and customer complaints.

The PIACs offer a range of audiovisual resources and leaflets covering the main features of high-speed lines, environmental projects, major infrastructures and the benefits of development work.

PIAC Santiago de Compostela

  • Address: Platform 1, Santiago de Compostela Station
  • Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 10.00 a.m. - 2.00 p.m. and 4.30 p.m. - 8.30 p.m.
  • Telephone: 981 594 927
  • email: piac.santiago@adif.es


The total estimated cost of the project (roadbed, tracks and installations) comes to 1.843 billion euro. This investment is included within the framework of the Strategic Transport Infrastructure Plan (PEIT is the Spanish acronym) drawn up by the Ministry of Public Works for 2005-2020.


The 87.5 km course was designed in keeping with the strictest parameters established for high speed lines with a double, electrified UIC-gauge (1,435 mm) track.

The new line will be used exclusively for passenger traffic and will include the most advanced railway signaling and safety systems.
Technically, this is a highly complex project due to the orographical difficulty that must be compensated for. Rivers, valleys, mountains, towns, roads and other railway lines occur one after the other, until over half of the route runs through tunnels and over viaducts.


Mapa de la línea.
  • 35 viaducts throughout 19,899 m. (22.7% of the route)
  • 31 tunnels throughout 32,521 m. (37.2% of the route)


  • The travel distance between Ourense and Santiago is reduced by 38.5 km., from 126 km. currently to 87.5 km.
  • The reliability, regularity and safety of train travel will be improved by means of the use of state-of-the-art technology in automatic pilot systems for trains.
  • There are no level crossings anywhere along the route.
  • Travel time between the two cities is notably reduced.
  • This line contributes to the interconnection of the national territory by a meshed high-speed network and favors the socioeconomic development of the areas it traverses.
  • It facilitates the mobility of our citizens.



Among the viaducts, the viaduct over the Arenteiro River is the longest, at 1,444 m.

As to the greatest height, that corresponds to the viaduct over the Barbantiño River. Its highest pylon is 97.9 m. tall. This viaduct is constructed with the same launching method as the Arenteiro viaduct.

Finally, the Viñao viaduct stands out at 1,357 m.


Among the tunnels, that which stands out as the longest on the Ourense-Santiago stretch is the Burata Tunnel, which is 4,068 m. long. This tunnel also has a parallel lower section gallery, which is connected to the main tunnel every 250 meters. Both maintenance and emergency vehicles can access the tunnel by means of this gallery.

The Outeiro tunnel, 2,866 m. long, has an 830 m. emergency gallery.


The 2,135 m. long Piteira tunnel has a lower section emergency gallery that is 300 m. long.

Other tunnels to highlight are those of San Fiz (2,135 m.), Mundín (1,112 m.), Barro (1,494 m.) and Coto Formiguero, at 410 m.



There are several unique viaducts on the Lalín-Santiago stretch, among which the Rego das Lamas viaduct (287 m.) stands out for its typology, with its upper cable-stayed arch at the crossing with the AP-53 highway.
The viaducts over the Deza River (1180 m) and the O Eixo (1224.4 m), both
with pointed depressed arches and a respective height of 96 and 84 m.


There are a total of 18 tunnels on the Lalín-Santiago stretch.

The longest tunnels being dug are the Carboeiro Tunnel (1420 m), the Marrozos tunnel (1158 m) , the Vila de Cruces tunnel (890 m) , the Castro tunnel (840 m) and the A Pena tunnel (820 m), in that order.

Part of the construction of the Vilar do Xestal (1215 m) and O Agro (820 m) tunnels includes artificial tunnels.


Adif dedicates 14.7% of the high-speed line construction budget to guaranteeing their integration into the landscape, assuring compliance with the Environmental Impact Statements (EIS), and making voluntary improvements to the surrounding areas.

Adif’s Strategic Plan, which covers the period from 2006 – 2010, identifies social and environmental responsibility as one of the three essential principles of a company’s identity. For this reason, when constructing new railway lines, Adif includes a series of measures based on the EIS meant to scrupulously respect the ecosystem of the areas affected, and to minimize our visual impact, noise and disruption of the landscape.

In the case of the Ourense – Santiago line, the most significant environmental actions taken are as follows:

Hydrological system and water quality protection

  • Waterproofed settling basins for water flowing out of the tunnels, equipped with pH control and oil separation devices: 47.
  • Settling basins for water from slides and runoff: 14
  • Landslide retention barriers: 34,393 m.
  • Waste storage points for residues generated from the construction work, in roofed, waterproofed enclosures. Management of hazardous waste: 34.

Protection and conservation of the flora

  • Transplantation of 190 autochthonous plant and holly tree stems/trunks.
  • Fire prevention and extinction plan.

Anti-erosion protection, environmental recovery and project integration into the landscape

  • Planting of 159,171 trees, both leafy and coniferous.
  • Environmental restoration of 34 inert-residue landfills and of the banks of 26 riverbeds, 3 streams and 1 brook.
  • Hydroseeding: 2, 814,625 square meters.
  • Seeding: 645,467 square meters.

Noise protection

  • Noise screening: 11,685 square meters.
  • Tree screening: 640 meters.

Protection of the fauna

  • Metallic cynegetic fence to avoid animal access to the roadbed: 47,040 linear meters.
  • Transversal drainage fitted out as wildlife throughways: 20
  • Overpass fitted out as a wildlife throughway: 1.
  • Specific wildlife throughway: 1.
  • Fauna escape mechanisms: 120.

Protection of cultural heritage

  • Archaeological surveys and follow-up, protection and cataloging of new elements, archaeological intervention and excavations

Links of interest

Screenshot from the Adif Multimedia Channel. Video