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Palma metro extension will be built

© Budach

The board of directors of Serveis Ferroviaris de Mallorca (SFM) has awarded the construction contract for the extension of the M1 metro line of the island capital Palma from the UIB station to Parc Bit to a construction consortium consisting of the companies COMSA, TECSA, MAB and COEXA. 28.9 million euros + VAT will be invested in the project, which will be largely financed with EU subsidies. The award of the contract was preceded by a tendering process in which nine bidders participated. The first trains are scheduled to service the new extension in the first half of 2024.

The aim is to improve the utilisation of the metre-gauge line M1, which is not really satisfactory up to no – 25% more passengers are expected. Currently, two trains run every 20 minutes on weekdays on the 8.5 km long line, which runs mainly under the railway and connects the UIB University with the Estación Intermodal interchange at Placa de Espanya. On Saturdays, trains only run every 30 minutes until midday, and on Sundays there is no service at all! Around 1 million passengers use the railway every year. On the first two kilometres, it shares its largely underground route with the regional railway lines to Inca – Sa Pobla / Manacor, whose vehicle fleet of 13 four-section EMUs built by CAF is being expanded by a further 5 units. 6 TramTrain trains from Vossloh, on the other hand, have been parked in the depot for years, largely without use. On the Metro, 6 two-section, 37-metre-long CAF trainsets are used. At times, they were also used as additional services between Palma and Marratxi as Metro M2 on the regional railway, but these services have since been discontinued.

A network map can be found here:

Vossloh tramtrain, CAF metro and regional EMU at Palma Intermodal | © Budach
Metro M1 – Palma Intermodal | © Budach

The extension of the line will make it possible to get from the UIB to Parc Bit in two minutes and from the centre of Palma in fifteen minutes. The new 1.4-kilometre line will run parallel to the northern access road from the UIB to Parc Bit for one kilometre and then turn south to reach Parc Bit’s southern car park. This new section will be partly underground, partly in a trench and finally on surface.

A significant improvement in capacity utilisation on the M1 metro line is likely to be brought about above all by an extension into Palma’s old town centre, although this is not currently on the agenda. Instead, the construction of a low-floor tramway in the direction of the airport is being pursued – we reported on this here:

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