Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles

Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (Grupo CAF, literally "Construction and Other Railway Services") is a Spanish publicly listed company which manufactures railway vehicles and equipment and buses through its Solaris Bus & Coach subsidiary. It is based in Beasain, Basque Autonomous Community, Spain. Equipment manufactured by Grupo CAF includes light rail vehicles, rapid transit trains, railroad cars and locomotives, as well as variable gauge axles that can be fitted on any[citation needed] existing truck or bogie.

Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, S.A.
Company typeSociedad Anónima
Founded1917 (Compañía Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles)
HeadquartersBeasain, Basque Country, Spain
Number of locations
11 factories, including: Beasain (Basque Country)
Zaragoza (Aragon)
Irún (Basque Country)
Linares (Andalusia)
Hortolandia (Brazil)
Huehuetoca (Mexico)
Elmira, New York (US)
Bagnères-de-Bigorre (France)
Key people
Jose María Baztarrica Garijo, Andrés Arizkorreta (Chief Executive Officer and Chairman)
ProductsDesign, manufacture, maintenance and supply of equipment and components for railway systems
RevenueIncrease €2.943 billion (2021)[1]
Increase €165 million (2021)[1]
Increase €89 million (2021)[1]
Total assetsIncrease €4.269 billion (2021)[1]
Total equityIncrease €740.4 million (2021)[1]
OwnerPublic; Employees via Cartera Social S.A. (25%); Kutxabank (14%)[2]
Number of employees
Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway Adtranz–CAF EMU built by CAF and Adtranz

Over the 20 years from the early 1990s, CAF benefited from the rail investment boom in its home market in Spain to become a world player with a broad technical capability, able to manufacture almost any type of rail vehicle.[3] CAF has supplied railway rolling stock to a number of major urban transit operators around Europe, the US, South America, East Asia, India, Australia and North Africa.


Bucharest Metro trains, built between 2013 and 2014

CAF was an acronym for the earlier name of Compañía Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, as well as for Construcciones y Auxiliar de Feres.

Fábrica de Hierros San Martín


In 1860, Domingo Goitia, Martín Usabiaga and José Francisco Arana established this company, whose main activity was puddling furnaces and cylinder rolling.[4]

La Maquinista Guipuzcoana


In 1892, Francisco de Goitia (Domingo Goitia's son and heir) joined the Marquess of Urquijo to set up La Maquinista Guipuzcoana, whose main activity was the operation of machinery and the forging and construction of railway rolling stock.

In 1898, it set up its plant in Beasain, Gipuzkoa. In 1905 it changed its name to Fábrica de Vagones de Beasain (FVB).

Compañía Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles


Compañía Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) was founded in 1917,[5] specializing in freight car production and with a total of 1,600 employees.

In 1940, the Irun factory was set up, following the expansion of activity after the Spanish Civil War (CAF took part in reconstructing the Spanish rail fleet).

In 1954, CAF took over Material Móvil y Construcciones (MMC) from Zaragoza (Aragon), a company with extensive experience in manufacturing long-distance and subway trains.

Since 1958, the company has modernized and enlarged its Beasain plant and expanded its activity to include all kinds of rolling stock. In line with this, in 1969 CAF created its Research and Development Unit, which increased the company's competitiveness and intensified the focus on in-house technology.

Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles


In 1971, the existing Compañía Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) merged with Material Móvil y Construcciones (MMC) and the company adopted its current name Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles.

Since the early 1990s, CAF has also been active internationally. In the early 2000s, CAF supplied high-speed trains to the Spanish RENFE and in 2005, high-speed trains were exported for the first time (to Turkey).[6]

In 2018, CAF took over the Polish bus manufacturer Solaris.[7] The company also acquired the Talent 3 platform from competitor Bombardier Transportation in 2022, as well as the Coradia Polyvalent platform and the plant in Reichshoffen from train manufacturer Alstom. This was a condition imposed by the European Commission's competition authority for the approval of the 2021 takeover of Bombardier Transportation by Alstom.



CAF U.S.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of CAF, was incorporated in 1998[8] and is based in Elmira, New York. It manufactures rolling stock for the North American market at a plant in Elmira that the company acquired from ADtranz in 2000.[9] The company from Beasain continued its expansion during the third millennium.

On 24 May 2019, it announced the acquisition of the Swedish company Euromaint at a cost of circa €80 million, following other international contracts to supply Flemish and English railway and underground networks in 2017.[10][11]

CAF Rolling Stock U.K. Ltd.[12] is the CAF subsidiary in the United Kingdom. Its factory is based at Celtic Springs Business Park, at Llanwern steelworks near Newport, Wales as a result of an agreement made between CAF and the Welsh Government.[13] The Newport factory has built stock for Transport for Wales, Arriva Rail North, the Docklands Light Railway, and potentially High Speed 2 if CAF win the bid process. They also donated £150,000 to the Conservative Party.[14]

CAF Signalling was fined in 2021 with 1.7 million euros by the Spanish commission on markets and competition because of its participation in a cartel with other 7 international companies which colluded in tenders over Spanish rail infrastructure.[15]

Train defects


In April 2014, two carriages of an Urbos 3 tram in Belgrade separated during passenger service, due to the cracking of screws connecting the cars. Half of the Belgrade tramway's CAF fleet were found to have been affected by similar cracking of screws in the two weeks prior to the incident.[16]

In March 2016, 19 British Rail Class 332 units were taken out of service after a crack was discovered in the underframe of one unit during routine maintenance.[17][18][19]

In December 2017, the Besançon Tramway in Besançon, France discovered cracks in their Urbos 3s vehicles around the bogie box area of the bodies, which in December 2020 CAF paid for remedial work to be performed with each unit affected requiring one month downtime for the work to be completed.[20]

In January 2019, BM3 number 1322-2322 "Putna" of the Bucharest Metro crashed in Metrorex's Berceni underground workshops,[21] currently concessioned by Alstom under a long maintenance contract. The year long investigation by the AGIFER proved that the TCMS software was at fault. As of 2024, legal battles between Metrorex/Alstom and CAF are still carried.

In April 2021, 22 British Rail Class 195 Civity units were temporarily removed from service after routine maintenance revealed a yaw damper bracket had detached from the body of unit 195121.[18]

On June 11, 2021, West Midlands Metro (operating between Birmingham and Wolverhampton, England) were forced to suspend their services due to cracks being discovered in the bogie box areas of their Urbos 3s vehicles, with ongoing investigations continuing to identify any other issues relating to the cracks and to find options for remedial works to be performed.[20] Full service only began once more in February 2022.[22]

On June 24, 2021, Flytoget were forced to withdraw their entire CAF Oaris fleet after 19 days of service due to the discovery of cracks in the chassis.[23] The first unit was returned to service after modifications to the cracked part on the 9th of January, 2023. By the end of June 2023, two years after the withdrawal, six out of eight units had been returned to service.[24] In the meantime, CAF has paid an unknown amount to Flytoget in compensation.[25][26]

Following on from these instances, in November 2021 the New South Wales transport minister Rob Stokes announced that the Sydney L1 Dulwich Hill Line would be decommissioned for up to 18 months, due to serious design flaws in all 12 of the CAF Urbos 3s tram sets that were running on the line. Stokes stated that the flaws (in the bogie boxes) were likely to be far broader in scope than those identified in Sydney due to the thousands of the same tram type operated around the world.[27]

In March 2022, the West Midlands Metro was again forced to suspend its services due to the discovery of more cracks, this time on the bodywork of the trams.[22]

On February 17, 2023, the Department of Transportation of the Philippines revealed that nearly 80 of the new light rail vehicles for Manila's LRT Line 1 cannot be used due to water leaks in the cars.[28] Fortunately, these issues were eventually resolved, enabling the entire fleet to be utilized.[29]

In February 2023, CAF revealed that the 2020 project for 31 trains for the FEVE narrow-gauge lines in the northern regions of Cantabria and Asturias, Spain, asked for a carriage width that would not fit through the existing 19th-century tunnels. The change in specifications will delay the established delivery date of October 2024 by two years to 2026.[30][31]

In July 2023, body cracks were discovered in four British Rail Mark 5A "Nova 3" carriage sets, leading to daily inspections of all sets and the temporary withdrawal of five sets from service. That August, the operator TransPennine Express confirmed its intention to cease usage of all sets from the December 2023 timetable change.[32]

Political activity


During the 2019 United Kingdom general election, CAF Rail UK Limited made a donation of £50,000 to the Conservative Party.[33]

In 2019, it entered into litigation that affects its corporate image. Participating in a consortium, JNET, together with the Israeli company Shapir Engineering and Industry, has won a tender promoted by the Israeli Ministry of Transport and Road Safety to supply railway equipment, in addition to building, extending and operating light rail lines from Jerusalem to nearby settlements in disputed territories, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.[34] In turn, Shapir is on the list of companies that benefit from the occupation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, as denounced by the United Nations Human Rights Council.[35]

Rolling stock





Renfe Operadora Class 121



For FEVE, now part of Renfe Operadora:

For Euskotren:

For Serveis Ferroviaris de Mallorca:

  • DMU Class 61
  • EMU Class 71
  • EMU Class 81

For other operators:



For Madrid:

  • Class 300
  • Class 1000
  • Class 2000
  • Class 3000
  • Class 5000
  • Class 6000
  • Class 8000
  • Class 8400

For Barcelona:

Class 5000
  • Class 1000
  • Class 2000
  • Class 3000
  • Class 4000
  • Class 5000
  • Class 6000
  • Class S/2100
  • Class S/300

For Helsinki:

For Bucharest:

  • BM3

For Amsterdam:

  • Metromaterieel S3/M4
  • Metromaterieel M7/M8

For Brussels:


  • Urbos 1 (Tranvía de Bilbao)
  • Urbos 2 (Tranvía de Vélez-Málaga, Tranvía de Vitoria and Metro de Sevilla).
  • Urbos 3 (Metrocentro de Sevilla, Tranvía de Zaragoza, Metropolitano de Granada, Metro de Málaga and Tranvía Metropolitano de la Bahía de Cádiz).

Outside Spain: trains

Algiers Metro
Heathrow Express Class 332
Tren de la Costa unit acquired in 1995

Newport factory, South Wales, UK

British Rail Class 195 Civity, one of the prospective units to be manufactured at the CAF production line in Newport, Wales

CAF Rolling Stock U.K. Ltd announced in 2017 its UK factory location was selected as Celtic Business Park at Llanwern steelworks in Newport, Wales.[42] It has at least five confirmed UK projects from 2019 onwards and would have been the construction site for their unsuccessful bid to deliver stock for High Speed 2. The site was funded with support from the Welsh Government Inward Investment Programme.[13]

Outside Spain: metros and trams

Brussels Metro new unit built by CAF
Rome metro
Caracas metro
Budapest tram Line 1, the longest passenger tram in the world
São Paulo commuter rail
CAF 5000 on Line B of the Buenos Aires Underground

See also



  1. ^ a b c d e f "CONSTRUCCIONES Y AUXILIAR DE FERROCARRILES, S.A. AND SUBSIDIARIES. Consolidated Financial Statements and Consolidated Management Report for the year ended December 31, 2021" (PDF). CAF. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  2. ^ Significant Shareholdings and Treasury Shares,
  3. ^ Hondius, Dr Harry. "IN FOCUS: CAF, A versatile enterprise that keeps expanding". Railway Gazette International. 168, No. 4 (April 2012).
  4. ^ Sanz, Elena (2014-10-29). "Arconada, el portero que cogió el tren empresarial tras colgar los guantes". El Confidencial. Retrieved 2023-11-27.
  5. ^ OLAIZOLA ELORDI, JUANJO. "La fábrica de vagones y su influencia en Beasain y Ordizia (1901-1925)". Euskonews. Retrieved 2023-11-27.
  6. ^ "Annual Report 2005" (PDF). CONSTRUCCIONES Y AUXILIAR DE FERROCARRILES, S.A. Retrieved 2023-11-27.
  7. ^ Burroughs, David (2018-07-03). "CAF to acquire bus and LRV manufacturer Solaris". Rail Journal. Retrieved 2023-11-27.
  8. ^ "Building on a century of progress and success [company history]". CAF USA. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  9. ^ Jamieson, R. (March 24, 2015). "CAF USA keeps Elmira area's rail heritage rolling". Star-Gazette. Elmira, New York. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  10. ^ "CAF logra contratos para suministrar tranvías en Bélgica y Suecia". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  11. ^ "El Grupo CAF refuerza su actividad con la compra de la empresa sueca EuroMaint". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  12. ^ "CAF ROLLING STOCK UK LIMITED – Overview (free company information from Companies House)". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  13. ^ a b "More than 3000 new Welsh jobs created following inward investment". GOV.WALES. 26 June 2018. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  14. ^ "Electoral Commission". 13 November 2023. Retrieved 2023-11-13.
  15. ^ "Competencia multa con 128 millones a ACS, Siemens, Alstom y otras empresas por repartirse contratos del AVE". (in Spanish). 1 October 2021. Retrieved 20 February 2023.
  16. ^ Tašković, M. (23 April 2014). ""Španci" se raspadaju: Tramvaj se prepolovio usred vožnje, srećom nije bilo putnika". (in Serbian). Retrieved 2022-07-03.
  17. ^ "Heathrow Express Class 332s taken out of service for 'foreseeable future'". Retrieved 2022-03-25.
  18. ^ a b "WELD FAILURES HIT CAF UNITS". 14 April 2021. Retrieved 2022-03-25.
  19. ^ "Heathrow Express Class 332 trains withdrawn for emergency checks". Railway Technology. 2016-03-01. Retrieved 2022-03-25.
  20. ^ a b "Cracks force suspension of Metro Service". Tramways and Urban Transit August 2021 No. 1004. 2021-08-01.
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b "West Midlands Metro tram services suspended for weeks". BBC News. 2022-03-24. Retrieved 2022-03-25.
  23. ^ "Crack causes Flytoget to withdraw brand new CAF fleet from traffic". International Railway Journal. 2021-07-02. Retrieved 2022-05-20.
  24. ^ "Oaris operation at Flytoget". Railvolution. Retrieved 2024-01-13.
  25. ^ "Flytoget's CAF Oaris fleet remains out of service six months after withdrawal". International Railway Journal. 2022-01-31. Retrieved 2022-05-20.
  26. ^ Gonzalez, Sabrina Isabel Alfonzo (2022-06-09). "Flytogets nye milliard-tog hadde sprekker i understellet – etter ett år er de fortsatt ikke i drift". Nettavisen (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2022-07-03.
  27. ^ O'Sullivan, Matt (2021-11-05). "Sydney's inner west light rail line out of action for up to 18 months". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2021-11-05.
  28. ^ "Nearly all train cars delivered for LRT-1 Cavite Extension defective, says DOTr official". CNN Philippines. February 17, 2022. Archived from the original on February 18, 2023.
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Heads roll in- Spain over trains too wide for tunnels". Stuff/Fairfax. 2023.
  31. ^ Alonso, Rubén (6 February 2023). "Por qué los trenes no caben por los túneles y qué pasará ahora con la nueva flota de Cercanías de Cantabria y Asturias". (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 February 2023.
  32. ^ UK2023-08-30T11:15:00+01:00, Rail Business. "TransPennine Express to stop using loco-hauled push-pull trains in December". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 2024-01-13. {{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  33. ^ "View donation". The Electoral Commission. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  34. ^ "Press release CAF". Archived from the original on 18 February 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  35. ^ "Informe Base de Datos del Consejo de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas". Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  36. ^ CAF project page on commuter train Schönbuchbahn
  37. ^ CAF project page on MÁV
  38. ^ Arrived from Spain this morning
  39. ^ Heathrow Express trains take shape Modern Railways issue 564 September 1995 page 541
  40. ^ HEx clones for Leeds triangle Modern Railways issue 595 April 1998 page 213
  41. ^ "More new trains for the North and Scotland". TransPennine Express. Archived from the original on 26 May 2016. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  42. ^ "THE NEW CAF PLANT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM WILL BE BUILT IN NEWPORT (WALES)". Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles. 13 July 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  43. ^ Carter, Kirsty (2019-06-10). "CAF Unveils Bid To Supply Oaris Trains To HS2". Rail Professional. Archived from the original on 2019-06-10. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  44. ^ a b Ltd, DVV Media International. "Railway supply industry news round-up". Railway Gazette International. Archived from the original on 2019-08-09. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  45. ^ "CAF commences design and engineering on DMUs for Wales and Borders franchise". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  46. ^ a b c Rosales, Elijah (2023-10-10). "Mitsubishi bags P9 billion airport train deal". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2023-10-17.
  47. ^ Calgary Announcement of Green Line LRV order
  48. ^ SWB announcement
  49. ^ CAF project page on Debrecen
  50. ^ CAF project page on Budapest
  51. ^ CAF project page on Oslo
  52. ^ "CAF wins order for new DLR trains | Railnews | Today's news for Tomorrow's railway". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  53. ^ "Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, we create railway solutions ::". CAF. Archived from the original on 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2009-07-15.