National report Spain – December 2012

des. 31 2012





Date: December 2012
Organisation Associació per a la Promoció del Transport Públic


Positive points for public transport in our country:


  1. The Spanish Public Works (Fomento) Ministry has announced the opening by January 2013 of the high speed train line, HSL, in UIC gauge, between Barcelona-Sants (the second HSL station in Barcelona, Sagrera, will still be under construction for a long time) and Figueres, with a stop in a new an specific HST station in Girona, beside the historic station (so, there will be two twin stations in Girona). By April 2013 there will be a direct link between Barcelona and Frances without the need of  any correspondence in Figueres. The international services will be provided by Elipsos, a mixed society shared by Renfe and SNCF. Between Barcelona and the French border will be three kinds of rail services: international services in UIC gauge (Elipsos), regional HST Barcelona-Girona-Figueres also in UIC gauge and trains by the traditional line, in Iberic gauge, between Barcelona and Portbou. At the beginning of January, Renfe has announced 9 daily services between Figures and Barcelona, eight of them will reach Madrid. In April new timetables will be announced for the full corridor once the link between both rail systems will be reached. Almost all France and its neighbouring countries will have the opportunity to access to Catalonia by rail and, if passengers have time enough to travel, continuing their trip to the rest of Spain by train along the HST rail axis Barcelona-Madrid-Seville or using the quick services to Valence.
  2. Finally the Spanish government has presented a credible plan to set up a full UIC rail link in the Mediterranean corridor between Murcia and the French border. It looks that the Government has forgotten the previous demagogic plans of building new rail infrastructures of tens of billions of euros and has started a new and reasonable era by putting on the table viable plans, in this case for an amount of 1,400 million euros. Further details in
  3. The new Catalan Government has introduced the Eurovignette in its new  mobility roadmap. This will allow to run more train freight services. In principle the Government is only willing to set up such a tax on the Girona-Lleida non tolled road corridor, which so far allowed hauliers to avoid the toll on the trip Spain-France throughout Catalonia.
  4. All Renfe electric trains will run in 2013 with 100% renewable electricity energy. More details in



Negative points for public transport in our country


  1. Decline in urban transport passengers. Barcelona Metropolitan PT system has suffered a decline of  a 3% of its passenger. Other Spanish cities suffered a similar decrease. The causes of such a fall is mostly due to the increase of unemployed people, but other causes as the return of immigrants to South-America and an increase in the use of motorbikes as an alternative mean of transportation is also perceived.
  2. Despite of the PTP call for shifting the current urban PT tariff scheme into a more consistent one from the point of view of retaining PT customers, the Catalan sector authorities have decided to maintain the old-fashioned tariff scheme which does not facilitate customer loyalty.
  3. Serious cuts in regional rail services have been announced by the Spanish government which has also announced that they will be substituted by buses. So far, any concrete approach has been put on the table but some internal news could indicate that these cuts could affect the most depopulated Spanish regions.



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