Rail freight connection Salamanca-Aveiro completed in 2021

The rail freight connection between the Spanish city of Salamanca and the Portuguese port of Aveiro is expected to be completed in 2021. The Spanish President Mariano Rajoy and Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa announced this plan at the Forum Portugal-Spain on 30th of May this year. The Portuguese government has budgeted 375 million Euros to complete its part of the project, the Spanish government 68 million Euros.

The Portuguese ports of Aveiro and Leixões in the vicinity of industrial hub of Porto are the ideal logistic export gates for Castile and Leon, important manufacturing cities near Salamanca.  Export products mainly consist of wine, agricultural and car manufacturing products (Nissan, Renault and Iveco and its providers all have factories near Salamanca).

Average container traffic at the Port of Leixões is 600,000 TEUs. The Port of Aveiro’s averages traffic of 2.3 million tonnes of bulk freight. On the northern side, the Logistics Center of Salamanca is essential to consolidating the exports of the Spanish region. The EU considers railway between Aveiro and Salamanca of strategic importance to the Atlantic Corridor in the Iberian Peninsula.

Long-term project

The railway connection is part of a long-term project to develop railway connections among the Spanish cities of Vigo, an important manufacturing hub in the Spanish region of Galicia, Salamanca, Badajoz, the most important city of the region of Extremadura, and the ports of Aveiro and Leixões. Vigo and Porto are the extreme points of an industrial axis between northern Portugal and Galicia, while Extremadura is a region exporting large primary sector volumes to the EU.

Author: Jose Gutierrez

Jose Gutierrez is RailFreight's correspondent in Spain.

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