Rail transport in Spain
High-speed AVE train, Madrid-Barcelona line.
|National railway||Renfe Operadora|
|Major operators||RENFE, FEVE, EuskoTren, FGC, FGV|
|Ridership||487.88 million (RENFE, 2017)|
84.54 million (FGC, 2017)
|Total||16,026 km (9,958 mi)|
|Electrified||10,182 km (6,327 mi)|
|Broad gauge |
1,668 mm (5 ft 5 21⁄32 in)
|11,829 km (7,350 mi)|
|Standard gauge |
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)
|3,100 km (1,900 mi)|
1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in)
|1,926 km (1,197 mi)|
|Narrow gauge |
914 mm (3 ft)
|28 km (17 mi)|
|3000 V DC||Main network|
|25 kV AC||High-speed lines, recent electrification|
|Longest tunnel||Sierra de Guadarrama, 28.4 km (17.6 mi)|
Most railways are operated by Renfe Operadora; metre and narrow-gauge lines are operated by FEVE and other carriers in individual autonomous communities. It is proposed and planned to build or convert more lines to standard gauge, including some dual gauging of broad-gauge lines, especially where these lines link to France, including platforms to be heightened.
The first railway line in the Iberian Peninsula was built in 1848 between Barcelona and Mataró. In 1851 the Madrid-Aranjuez line was opened. In 1852 the first narrow gauge line was built; in 1863 a line reached the Portuguese border. By 1864 the Madrid-Irun line had been opened, and the French border reached.
In 1900 the first line to be electrified was the La Poveda-Madrid.
The last steam locomotive was withdrawn in 1975, in 1986 the maximum speed on the railways was raised to 160 km/h, and in 1992 the Madrid-Seville high-speed line opened, beginning the process of building a nationwide high-speed network.
- Renfe Operadora is a state-owned company which operates freight and passenger trains on the 1,668 mm (5 ft 5 21⁄32 in) "Iberian gauge", 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge and 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge rail networks of the Spanish nationalized infrastructure company ADIF (Spanish: Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias). Both were formed from the break-up of the former national carrier RENFE (Spanish: Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles, "Spanish National Railway Network") and subsequently of FEVE (Spanish: Ferrocarriles Españoles de Vía Estrecha, "Narrow-Gauge Spanish Railways").
- EuskoTren (Basque: Eusko Trenbideak, Spanish: Ferrocarriles Vascos, "Basque Railways") operates trains on part of the narrow gauge railway network in the Basque Country.
- FGC (Catalan: Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya, "Catalan Government Railways") operates several unconnected lines in Catalonia. It operates 140 km (87 mi) of narrow gauge, 42 km (26 mi) of standard gauge, and 89 km (55 mi) of Iberian gauge routes, two metre gauge rack railways and four funicular railways.
- FGV (Valencian: Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat Valenciana, "Valencian Government Railways") operates several metre gauge lines in the Valencian Community.
- FS (Catalan: Ferrocarril de Sóller, "Sóller Railways") operates an electrified 914 mm (3 ft) narrow gauge railway on the Spanish island of Majorca between the towns of Palma and Sóller.
- SFM (Catalan: Serveis Ferroviaris de Mallorca, "Majorcan Railway Servicies") operates the 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge railway network on the Spanish island of Majorca.
- Acciona Rail Services, a subsidiary of Acciona, operates a coal cargo line between Asturias and the province of León.
- COMSA Rail Transport, a subsidiary of COMSA, operates a cargo line from the Port of Gijón to Valladolid.
- Continental Rail is dedicated to bringing materials into the gorges of the high-speed lines in progress.
Metro/light rail systemsEdit
- Alicante (Alicante Tram)
- Barcelona (Barcelona Metro/Tram)
- Bilbao (Bilbao Metro/Tram)
- A Coruña under construction.
- Granada (Granada Metro).
- Jaén (Jaén Tram) finished without service by political reason.
- Madrid (Madrid Metro)
- Málaga (Málaga Metro)
- Murcia (Murcia tram) opened in 2007.
- Palma (Palma Metro)
- Parla (Parla Tram)
- Santa Cruz de Tenerife opened in 2007.
- San Sebastian(Metro Donostialdea) opened in 2012
- Seville (Seville Metro/Tram)
- Valencia (Valencia Metro)
- Vélez-Málaga Tram (defunct)
- Vigo under construction.
- Vitoria-Gasteiz (Vitoria-Gasteiz Tram)
- Zaragoza (Zaragoza Tram) opened in 2011.
In Spain there is an extensive 1,250 km (780 mi) system of metre gauge railways
High-speed standard gaugeEdit
- France – break-of-gauge 1,668 mm (5 ft 5 21⁄32 in)/1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) (new high-speed line links without any break-of-gauge)
- Portugal – same gauge
- Gibraltar (UK) – no current rail system in Gibraltar, although accessible via buses from La Línea to San Roque station.
- Morocco – no access to mainland (proposed undersea tunnel)
Andorra has no rail system.
In 2004, the Spanish government adopted a new strategic plan for transportation through 2020 called the PEIT (Strategic Plan for Infrastructures and Transport). This detailed rail subsidies of around €9.3 billion annually on average from 2005-2020. In 2010, it rolled out a two-year plan to invest an extra €11 billion each year for two years, as a part of a financial stimulus in response to the global downturn. In 2015, the federal budget for the railways was €5.1 billion.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rail transport in Spain.|
- "Railway Statistics – 2017 Synopsis" (PDF). International Union of Railways, IUC. 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
- CIA - The World Factbook - Spain
- Verkehrsrundschau, 2007-04-30
- Significant events in the history of Spanish infrastructures and railways Archived 2009-09-04 at the Wayback Machine www.fomento.es. See also www.biada.com
- Ferrotransmadrid Archived 2013-10-12 at the Wayback Machine
- Descubre la Alta Velocidad Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine
- "Global Competitiveness in the Rail and Transit Industry p. 20-21" (PDF).
- "Spanish railways battle profit loss with more investment". 17 September 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2016.