MEDWAY: 45 million euros to expand into France
Portuguese rail freight operator MEDWAY is planning to expand its operation outside of the Lusitanian border. The company will in fact invest in rolling stock to deploy between Spain and France.
Bruno Silva, MEDWAY’s managing director, told Portuguese media outlet Negocios that the company will invest 45 million euros to start operations in France. The funds will be used to purchase 8 locomotives and 350 wagons. The rolling stock purchased by MEDWAY will be suitable for travelling on the standard gauge, which is the one used in France.
MEDWAY is expecting to start crossing the Pyrenees by 2024 or 2025. The investment will be financed by the Spanish government through the Merciancias 30, part of the Spanish Recovery and Resilience Plan. MEDWAY’s intention of looking to expand eastward comes from the fact that Portugal’s plan to improve the railway infrastructure, Ferrovia 2020, is taking a little longer than expected.
MEDWAY is still in the run to become Renfe Mercancias’ private partner
MEDWAY is also one of three companies left in the race to become Renfe’s partner after the privatisation of Renfe Mercancias. The other two shortlisted companies are Maersk and CMA CGM. The plan to turn Renfe Mercancias into a private enterprise was announced in July 2022. Renfe is selling 50 per cent of the company’s assets to form a new joint venture with a private operator. Renfe is expected to make a decision by July 2023.
One of the benefits that the Portuguese company could bring to Renfe is a newer fleet of rolling stock. Carlos Vasconcelos, Chairman at MEDWAY, was quoted by Spanish media Investing as saying that the company has the capacity to sustain a significant investment in renewing Renfe Merciancias’ fleet. Other than the order mentioned above, the company will soon receive 16 locomotives and 113 wagons suitable for running on the standard gauge. This batch of rolling stock is expected to be delivered this or next year.