Mediterranean Railway Corridor. Photo credit: Spanish Government

Spanish regional governments inject 150 million Euros in Mediterranean Corridor

The regional governments of Valencia and Aragon have agreed to co-invest around 150 million Euros to build several sections of the railway line between Zaragoza and Sagunto. This railway line connects the Mediterranean Corridor with the Atlantic Corridor in the north of Spain and has been on the agenda for a while. The regional governments have asked the national government to invest the remaining 300 million Euros.

Recently, regional governments are increasingly taking the lead in the completion of the Mediterranean Corridor, which is important for Spain as the Mediterranean region forms the main economic axis of the country. The core network corridor connects the Spanish coast to France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary, covering a distance of more than 6 thousand kilometre. However, the government has only moved on with the completion of the Spanish part of the corridor at a slow pace, to the frustration of shippers in the region.

European gauge

The current rail track between Zaragoza and Sagunto has Iberian gauge (1,668 mm). Valencian and Aragonese governments have demanded a new railway track with European gauge (1,435 mm), to be able to obtain EU funds and to operate faster locomotives. Currently, freight trains take around 5 hours from Zaragoza to the Port of Valencia.

The province of Aragon is a logistics hub situated between Madrid and Barcelona. It represents one of the largest automotive manufacturing areas in Spain, with General Motors, PSA, Peugeot and Citroën housing factories here. The regional government of both Aragon and Valencia agree that factories in this province need a good direct connection with Valencia, rather than with the Atlantic Corridor because the northern ports move only 22 per cent of the total number of containers exported through Valencia.

Author: Jose Gutierrez

Jose Gutierrez is RailFreight's correspondent in Spain.

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