Light Rail in Alicante, Spain. Improving the use of existing railway lines

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

economics - economies of scale, economics - operating costs, mode - rail, mode - tram/light rail, place - europe


tram-train, Spain, operating cost, demand, rail


TRAM Metropolitano de Alicante, a unique, metric (1,000 mm) gage system, was the first Spanish tram-train. Later, it lost its tram-train characteristic (i.e., railway tracks shared with conventional trains) as a result of the evolution of the railway network. Nevertheless, the system still operates in a quasi-tram-train way, because the tram-train vehicle runs partly on railway tracks with a railway signaling system and other railway equipment. This quasi-tram-train operation leads to some specific design issues that are explained in this paper. The paper also presents a thorough description of the Alicante network, its development, its construction and operational costs, its operation, and its demand.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.