The development in Spain of the corridors of the core network of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) are part of the national recovery plan. The “safe, sustainable, and connected mobility” within Component 6 details the investments planned to advance in its implementation and to have a railway connection without borders.
The completion of this network in Spain is necessary to meet the milestones set out in the new European mobility strategy. It wants to double high-speed traffic by 2030 and triple it by 2050 compared to 2015 figures. In addition, goods transported by train are expected to increase by 50% by 2030 and double that by 2050.
Both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Corridors are key to the construction of the Single European Transport Area. For this reason, they are considered key in the planned investments in transport (Pillar 7 of the Safe, Sustainable and Connected Mobility Strategy). Although they have been in full development for some time, having the economic support of the European funds allocated to Spain will make it possible for them to be finalized in those provided for by European regulations. In addition, it has extensive experience and high levels of Spanish competitiveness in the construction of railway lines, an aspect that is a guarantee that the investments made will be carried out very efficiently.
The funds foreseen for both corridors in the Recovery Plan amount to 2,988 million euros, an amount that will be allocated both to the construction of new railway infrastructures and to the modernization and improvement of existing ones throughout the whole country. To date, these lines had national funding and also European aid from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
The actions will be carried out in several sections throughout the whole country and include work of very diverse nature from new infrastructures (platform, viaducts, tunnels, etc.), to new sections, assembly and renovation of track, electrifica tion, signaling and control, as well as fixed and mobile telecommunications and works in stations.
The planned implementation schedule began in February 2020 and will run until August 2026. Once the works are completed, it is estimated that infrastructure expansions and improvements will have been made to around 1,700 kilometers of network of both corridors
One of the most significant railway projects is the Atlantic Corridor. It is included in the Trans-European Transport Network. Its construction is carried out for its full interoperability with the rest of Europe. Once completed on schedule – in 2030 – the complete route will be double-track with international gauge (1,435 mm), electrification at 25 kVac and will have the ERTMS control system. It is a strategic line that will connect the northern coastal area with the interior of the country and the rest of Europe.
One of the objectives of this project is to increase railway freight traffic and make it more competitive compared to other modes such as road or aircraft. The commitment to this corridor, like that of the Mediterranean, will make it possible to make progress in achieving sustainable mobility and reducing emissions associated with transport.
Its importance from the economic point of view is also very relevant. As stated in the 4th Atlantic Corridor Work Plan published in 2020, “the implementation of the Basic Network of the Trans-European Transport Network in the Member States belonging to the corridor will lead during the period 2017-2030 to an increase in cumulative GDP of 0.9%, corresponding to an investment of € 795,000 M, and the generation of a total of 2,7m jobs million jobs.” In addition, it is estimated that the cargo volumes on this route will be 29% up to 115 billion tons-kilometre in 2030. Railway transport will experience the largest increase, accounting for 71%. The planned route has just been recently extended to reach Asturias and Galicia.
Another priority in the Spanish reactivation agenda is the promotion of the Mediterranean Corridor, which is also part of the Trans-European Transport Network. It is an international gauge railway route that runs from Algeciras along the eastern coast of the country to the French border, where it connects with the rest of Europe. In its route, of 1,300 kilometers, you will join the most important cities of this area among which are Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, Murcia and Málaga and connecting them in turn with the rest of Europe. In addition to having a connection with the main ports in the area, this pillar would cover 47% of the Spanish population and half of exports.
Both corridors are infrastructures that will allow to expand travel times, frequencies and boost economic activity and employment. As stated in the “4th Mediterranean Corridor Work Plan”, the final implementation in 2030 of the Trans-European Transport Network Core Network will lead to a sharp increase (+29%) in the number of tonne-km transported by railway.
ansporte conducirá a un fuerte aumento (+29%) del número de toneladas-km transportadas por ferrocarril.
◗ ACTIONS IN THE ATLANTIC AND MEDITERRANEAN CORRIDOR: €2.988 M
|Atlantic Corridor||And Basque: Vitoria-Bilbao- San Sebastián/Astigarraga-Irún|
|Atlantic Corridor||León-La Robla-Pola de Lena|
|Atlantic/Mediterranean Corridor||Connection LAV Barcelona-LAV Levante|
|Atlantic/Mediterranean Corridor||Alcázar de San Juan-Manzanares|
|Mediterranean Corridor||French-Barcelona-Tarragona-Vandellós border|
OTHER ACTIONS IN THE TRANS-EUROPEAN NETWORK
In component 6 of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, other actions have also been approved to improve the interoperability of the railway network, especially in relation to the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). These measures also seek to introduce and deploy digitalization, traffic management systems such as SESAR, ITS or ERTMS and new technologies available on the market as a means to increase safety, efficiency, control in their management.
On the one hand, 1,010 million euros are set aside for TEN-T infrastructure works that are not included in the core network corridors. These are security projects, digitalization, implementation of technologies and environmental protection.
Likewise, actions will be carried out in 900 kilometers of railway lines for the improvement of the different subsystems including electrification, track renewal, command control and signaling. In addition, there will be a specific item for the digital transformation of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (MITMA) with the aim of increasing the efficiency and quality of public services.
Among other actions, the use of the collaborative work methodology BIM (Building Information Modeling), the Mobility as a Service (MaaS), through open data and using new technologies for the analysis and optimization of mobility will be promoted.
ACTIONS IN THE TEN-T RAILWAY INFRASTRUCTURES, NOT INCLUDED IN THE CORRIDORS OF THE BASIC NETWORK: €1,010 M
|General actions of modernization and adaptation of the network (Security, digitalization and environmental protection):||-Technology infrastructure for railway traffic management.
-Security (cybersecurity, obstacle drop detectors, etc.).
-Acoustic protections / Noise maps.
-Development of satellite technology applied to ERTMS railway signalling.
|Actions in lines (900 km of network): Improvement in the different sub systems||Electrification of sections (e.g., Monforte-Lugo).
-Track renovation (e.g., Soria-Torralba, Xáitva-Ontinyent and Monforte-Lugo).
-Improvement of the control command and signalling subsystem (e.g., Soria-Torralba and Ávila-Salamanca).
-Creation of new sections or variants (e.g., Palencia-Santander, variant of Rincón de Soto and Variant of Ourense).
|DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION OF THE MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT, MOBILITY AND URBAN AGENDA. PLANNED INVESTMENT: €50 M|
|Driving Mobility as a Service (MaaS)||Offering open data and using new technologies for the analysis and optimization of mobility.|
|New systems||Implementation of a system of analysis, monitoring, surveillance, control of needs, execution of service and implementation and application of new technologies in Road Transport.|
|BIM||-Building Information Modeling (BIM): Enhancing coordination and communication through the BIM Commission’s website.
-Collaborative platform for information management and digital models, etc.