Ferrocarriles y Transportes Suburbanos

Ferrocarriles y Transportes Suburbanos (Spanish for 'Suburban Railways and Transport'), commonly known by its acronym FTS, was a railway company in the Basque Country, Spain. Founded in 1947 as the merger of various railway companies, it operated several suburban rail lines in the Greater Bilbao area. FEVE took over its operations in 1972, which in 1982 were transferred to the new company Basque Railways.

Compañía de los Ferrocarriles y Transportes Suburbanos de Bilbao, S. A.[1]
TypePublicly listed
Founded20 June 1947
Defunct3 December 1983
Area served
Greater Bilbao


FTS was founded in 1947 with the merger of two independent railways and two lines operated by another company:[2]

Aside from the railways, FTS also operated several tram and bus lines. The Bilbao-Plentzia line had been electrified since the 1920s, and shortly after the establishment of the new company the remaining non-electrified lines were electrified too.[3]

The rolling stock was renovated starting in the 1950s, but by the 1960s the company was in financial difficulties. Rather than due to low ridership, they were caused by the artificially low fares imposed by the government, which didn't subsidize the company. In 1969, a landslide forced the closure of the Matico-Azbarren line and the relocation of the Bilbao-Lezama terminus out of central Bilbao.[4] In 1975, due to the lengthening of the airport runway, most of the Lutxana-Mungia line had to close too.[5] On 30 December 1977, FEVE took over the operations of the network.[4]

Despite ceasing operations in 1977, the company wasn't immediately disbanded. In May 1983, after all the legal difficulties it faced were solved, the board of directors proposed the dissolution of the company, which happened in December that year.[6]

Rolling stockEdit

After the merger, the new company inherited the rolling stock owned by its predecessors. The steam locomotives inherited from the Bilbao-Lezama and Lutxana-Mungia railways were retired soon after the merger, as since 1950 the whole FTS network was electrified.

Electric rolling stockEdit

Class Image Type In service Number Notes
MAB 1-12 (Carde y Escoriaza)   Railcar 1927-1995 12 A series of twelve railcars acquired at the time of the electrification of the Bilbao-Plentzia line. One of last trains of the series was retired from passenger service in 1986, and was used for auxiliary services until 1995.[7]
MAB 13-15 (Carde y Escoriaza)   Railcar 1930-2012 3 Three railcars intended for freight transport, built in 1930. They were reformed in the 1950s into passenger trains with the car bodies of the second hand Alsthom railcars.[8] The last one was retired from passenger service in 1995, and was used for auxiliary services until 2012.[9]
MB 100 series   EMU 1965-1998 8 These EMUs were originally built between 1965 and 1975. They were refurbished between 1988 and 1991, becoming the Euskotren 3100 series.[10] They were withdrawn from service in 1998.[11]
MD 1-3 (Alsthom) Railcar 1949-1970s 3 A total of seven railcars were built in 1930 by Alsthom for the Toulouse-Castres railway [fr], which closed in 1939. Four of them were acquired by Ferrocarriles Vascongados, and the remaining three by Ferrocarriles y Transportes Suburbanos.[12] After their arrival to FTS; their body cars were used to refurbish the old MD trains, which were subsequently renumbered MAB 13-15. The Alsthom railcars were used for freight services between Bilbao and Plentzia until the 1970s.[13]
TU series EMU 1954-2011 10 A series of ten two-car EMUs (a third car was added later). Retired in the early 1990s,[14] one of them remained in the Bilbao metro depot in Sopela until 2011, when it was scrapped.[15]



  1. ^ "por el que se autoriza la resolución de la concesión, con abandono de la explotación y levante de la línea Las Arenas-Canteras de Neguri, de la que es concesionaria la «Compañía de los Ferrocarriles y Transportes Suburbanos de Bilbao, S. A.», de acuerdo con lo establecido en el artículo 45 de la Ley de 21 de abril de 1949.". Decreto No. 2198/1966 of 5 September 1996 (in Spanish). Vol. 215. p. 12722. Retrieved 5 July 2022 – via BOE.
  2. ^ Olaizola, p. 28.
  3. ^ Olaizola, p. 36.
  4. ^ a b Olaizola, p. 37.
  5. ^ "Hoy" (PDF). La Gaceta del Norte (in Spanish). 11 May 1975. p. 2. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  6. ^ Peris Torner, Juan (9 May 2012). "Ferrocarriles y Transportes Suburbanos de Bilbao S.A. (FTSB)". Spanish Railway (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  7. ^ Olaizola, pp. 119.
  8. ^ Olaizola, pp. 86–87.
  9. ^ "Euskotren restaura un automotor de 1928 para el Museo Vasco del Ferrocarril en Azpeitia". Irekia (in Spanish). Eusko Jaurlaritza - Gobierno Vasco. 14 August 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  10. ^ Olaizola, pp. 97–100.
  11. ^ Martínez Suero, Estela (27 June 2001). "Adiós a los trenes multicolores". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 May 2021.
  12. ^ Olaizola, Juanjo (2001). Bilbo eta Donostia arteko trenaren material motorea / Material motor del ferrocarril de Bilbao a San Sebastián (in Spanish and Basque). Bilbao: Eusko Trenbideak Ferrocarriles Vascos , S.A. pp. 117–118. ISBN 84-920629-3-2.
  13. ^ Olaizola, Juanjo (21 August 2015). "Los automotores Asthom de Suburbanos de Bilbao y los Ferrocarriles Vascongados". Historias del tren (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  14. ^ Olaizola, pp. 88–91.
  15. ^ Olaizola, Juanjo (18 March 2013). "Las unidades de tren y los automotores Naval de vía métrica (I)". Historias del tren (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 July 2022.


  • Salmerón i Bosch, Carles; Olaizola Elordi, Juanjo (1990). Eusko Trenbideak - Ferrocarriles Vascos: Historia eta teknika - Historia y técnica (in Spanish and Basque). Barcelona: Terminus. ISBN 84-404-8322-8.

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