ADIF locomotive at Tarragona station

Adif records rail freight growth, especially with high-speed trains

Photo: Wikimedia Commons. Rq113kt4

Adif has published its trains/kilometre data for the period between January and August 2022. The data shows that rail freight traffic has increased, especially when it comes to high-speed freight trains, which increased by over 16 per cent.

In general, there has been a 5,54 per cent increase, compared to the same period in 2021. The company has also provided more specific data for conventional traffic as well as high-speed traffic. For the former, trains/kilometre increased by 4,80 per cent, while the latter grew by 16,45 per cent. This shows that rail freight traffic at high speed is increasing at a fast pace.

High-speed rail freight in Spain

Spain has been using high-speed freight trains for a few years, with some ups and downs. In November 2021, for example, many Spanish companies protested against the fees for transporting goods on the high-speed rail network, considered too high to compete with road transport.

More recently, Adif has started a project that will connect the La Llagosta hub, near Barcelona, with the high-speed line connecting the city in Catalonia with the French border. This project should be completed by August 2024.

High-speed rail freight in Europe

Other countries in Europe have been testing high-speed rail freight transportation over the past four years. For example, Italy has had high-speed rail freight connections since November 2018. Moreover, Austria is completing the Koralm Railway, which will connect Klagenfurt and Graz. It is expected to be completed in 2023, and trains will be able to travel at 250 km/h.

Not all projects concerning high-speed rail freight in Europe have been successful. In fact, From 1984 until 2015 the French railway company SNCF ran the high-speed postal service La Poste. The line was closed for lack of demand.

More specifics on Adif’s report

During August 2022, 1,997 trains/kilometre were handled in total, 136 more than last year. Concerning conventional traffic, the data shows that 1,859 trains\kilometre were managed during the said month, 101 more than August 2021. The remaining 138 trains/kilometre were high-speed trains, 35 more than August 2021.

For the first eight months of 2022, 17,356 trains\kilometre were handled by Adif, 911 more than the same period last year. Of these, 16,143 were run at conventional speed and 1,213 at high speed. Compared to last year, there has been an increase of respectively 740 and 171 trains/kilometre.

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Author: Marco Raimondi

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

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