The Basque Government, with Bizkaia Provincial Council and the Local Council, to drive sustainable mobility between Trapagaran and La Arboleda, with the spotlight on the funicular railway
The Basque Government’s Ministry of Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport and Euskotren are driving sustainable mobility along the Trapagaran-La Arboleda section. The focus is going to be on the Larreineta Funicular Railway and different cultural activities will be organised to disseminate the project. They are therefore working closely with the Bizkaia Provincial Council’s Department of Transport and Sustainability and Trapagaran Council.
The three public institutions involved will thus help, on the one hand, to set up a permanent exhibition in the Euskotren premises at the Larreineta Funicular Railway. Its aim will be to showcase the history of that means of transport (the Funicular Railway now enjoys Cultural Asset status, with the category of Site of Cultural Importance) and of the valley’s mining past.
Along with Bizkaia Provincial Council (Department of Transport and Sustainable Mobility), the Basque Government and Euskotren will also work on converting the Trapagaran-La Arboleda section into a zero-emission sustainable transport vector. The focus will be on generating a large zero-emission sustainable mobility and decarbonised area between La Escontrilla and La Arboleda, working with Euskotren, the multimodal transport operator (train, tramway, underground, funicular railway and bus).
Showcasing the history of the valley (mining and funicular railway)
The following outreach actions will be organised to showcase the valley’s history:
- Refurbishment of the old Larreineta Fuincular cars, owned by the Basque Railway Museum which is also managed by Euskotren. The car will be able to be visited as an integral part of the permanent exhibition in Larreineta.
- Producing the necessary audiovisual resources covering the history of the funicular railway and its relationship with the ore mines in the valley. There will also be audiovisual resources on the history of the worker’s movement in the Trapagaran Valley and the history of the mines.
- Organising activities with school groups and tours of the points of interest (La Arboleda, Peñas Negras Interpretation Centre, etc.).
The Larreineta Funicular Railway was built by Bizkaia Provincial Council pursuant to the concession awarded by the Ministry of Development on 11 March 1921 and came into service on 25 September 1926. For more than 95 years, the Funicular was used to take the workers up to the mine and to transport the iron ore from La Arboleda mining operation to the factories. Furthermore, Decree 150/2014, of 15 July, awarded the funicular railway Cultural Asset status, with the category of Site of Cultural Importance.
The Trapagaran Valley (La Arboleda) was a hive of industrial development thanks to its mining activity and was an important centre in the advancement of the workers’ movement.
Driving sustainable mobility in the Trapagaran-La Arboleda section
The Basque Government and Euskotren, with the support of Bizkaia Provincial Council’s Department of Transport and Sustainability Mobility, have set the goal of driving sustainability mobility in the Trapagaran-La Arboleda section. The following are some of the actions planned:
• In Trapagaran, the connection between the Larreineta Funicular Railway and La Arboleda will be by electric bus. Euskotren currently manages the Funicular service and the shuttle between the upper station and La Arboleda.
• Location of bicycle servicing and maintenance points at both Funicular stations (Larreineta and La Escontrilla). Those points will be equipped with water, electricity and tools.
Both institutions will therefore contribute to connecting Euskotren’s Larreineta Funicular Railways with the future Bizkaia public cycling service, included in the 2022 Annual Procurement Plan. This will further the use of sustainable means of transport in Bizkaia to the detriment of other more polluting ones with CO2 emissions or which lead to urban and interurban traffic congestion.
This project driven by the Basque Government, in conjunction with the Provincial Council and Local Council, will take place in the year that Eusko Trenbideak-Ferrocarriles Vascos, S.A./Euskotren is celebrating its 40th anniversary (specifically, at the end of May 2022).