The Spanish northwest wants to be on Atlantic TEN-T Corridor

Image: Flickr. infoxicated

The Spanish regions Galicia, Asturias, and Castilla y Leon are demanding to be involved in the Atlantic Corridor of the TEN-T network. The three regions prepared an investment plan, amounting to 7,9 billion euros, to present to the government to be used as a basis for the Master Plan for the development of the Corridor.

The presidents of the three regions led the Northwest Atlantic Corridor meeting in Santiago de Compostela last week. The meeting was attended by over 1,000 industry players active in the area. During the meeting, the regions brought forward a plan to modernise rail freight in the Spanish northwest to increase its territorial competitiveness. The president of the Junta de Galicia, Alfonso Rueda Valenzuela, for example, pointed out that the area is already a natural bridge between Europe and America.

The investment plan includes the actions considered a priority by each region. These actions mostly revolve around the implementation of pending infrastructure, the electrification of tracks, the increase in gauges, or the reduction of ramps. The three regions stressed the urgency for a map, made by the Spanish government, with the necessary investments, actions, and a timetable.

The regions’ plans and goals

As pointed out in Rueda’s speech, one of the objectives of the meeting has already been met. During the gathering, the Spanish government has in fact appointed State Executive Commissioner for the Atlantic Corridor. “It was one of the requests of this summit and, therefore, the summit has already achieved the first of its objectives”, Rueda commented. The three regions are suggesting the government take advantage of the Next Generation EU funds, established by the EU to help countries cope with the aftermath of COVID-19. These funds, according to the regions, should be added to the 25,8 billion euros allocated in the 2021-2027 plan under the Connect Europe initiative for the transport sector.

Image: European Commission

The final goal for the regions is to have a railway line connecting the Spanish northwest with the rest of Europe by 2040. By then, they hope to triplicate the volumes of cargo moved by rail from seven to 20 tonnes per year. This, according to the regions, would significantly help Spain to increase its modal share of rail to 12 per cent, closer to the European average. Reaching these goals would save 22 million tonnes of CO2 every year. Moreover, building the infrastructure would mobilise 6,600 jobs annually and boosting rail freight would save 1,3 million euros from the state’s pockets.

The Atlantic Corridor

The Atlantic Corridor, also known as the Rail Freight Corridor 4, is part of the TEN-T project which will connect the Iberian peninsula to Germany. The corridor starts in Portugal from four different locations: Porto, Aveiro, Lisbon, and Sines. It will reach Algeciras, from where the Mediterranean Corridor will start. The Atlantic Corridor will then go through Madrid and Valladolid and then head west towards Bilbao and France.

This corridor, as can be seen in the picture above, does not take into account the northwestern nor the southeast areas of Spain. However, the regions in the southeast will be included in TEN-T project thanks to the Mediterranean Corridor, which will run from Seville along the Spanish Mediterranean coast. This corridor will cross Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, and Hungary. It now remains to be seen what the reaction of the Spanish government will be to the demands made by the regions Galicia, Asturias, and Castilla y Leon.

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Author: Marco Raimondi

Marco Raimondi is an editor of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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