Rail freight train Renfe. Photo credit: Renfe

Spanish government incentivises truck to train shift

The Spanish Ministry of Development has announced a plan to incentivise the modal shift of truck traffic to rail freight, as part of a five-year transport strategy.

Iñigo de la Serna, Minister for Development, said there would be a budget of 125 million Euros between 2018 and 2022. The Ministry has obtained this amount through savings made by national rail operator Renfe. The financial scheme´s legal framework will be based on the less polluting characteristics of train in comparison to trucks, saving national budget funds for reducing the carbon footprint.


The transport companies and manufacturers will able to receive this incentive from the second quarter of 2018, obtaining 2.25 million Euros for 1,000 tonnes/km on the rail network. The initial project will take five years, amounting 25 million Euros every year. The Spanish government estimates that a major use of rail freight traffic will save 425 million Euros every year due to less pollution, impact in roads and work accidents. However, rail freight has only a five per cent market share in Spain in comparison to the European average of around 15 to 17 per cent, but which reaches as high as 33 per cent in countries like Austria or Sweden.

Spain opened up the rail freight market in 2005, and currently the main operators are Renfe, which accounts for a 70 per cent market share; Comsa Rail Transport (9.3 per cent); Continental Rail/ACS Group (7.6 per cent; and Transfesa (DB Group), 5.4 per cent.

Author: Jose Gutierrez

Jose Gutierrez is RailFreight's correspondent in Spain.

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