railway

Fire in abandoned station left Barcelona without trains throughout the morning

February 9, 2016 02:34 PM | ACN

The short-distance train network has been interrupted this morning in the centre of Barcelona due to a fire in an abandoned station in the centre of the Catalan capital. Although the fire was extinguished by 7 am CET this Tuesday, the smoke continued to spread throughout the city’s train tunnels for hours, affecting six stations, more than 210 trains, metro line 1 and nearly 100,000 passengers, according to the Catalan Government. An accumulation of waste in the abandoned station is most likely to have been the cause of the fire. Today’s chaos is to be added to a long list of problems which have occurred on the network during the last decade, mainly due to a lack of investment in infrastructure by the Spanish Government.

Short-distance train network collapses again and may affect 60,000 passengers throughout the day

December 15, 2015 06:24 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Today’s chaos in Catalonia’s railway system, operated by Spanish public train operator Renfe, is to be added to a long list of problems which have occurred on this network during the last decade. On this occasion, 60 short-distance trains and 25,000 passengers were affected by an attempted copper theft in three different train stations in the Barcelona area. This criminal act caused several small fires in the railway installations of Santa Perpètua de Mogoda, La Llagosta and Mollet del Vallès, around 20 kilometres away from Barcelona, which led to 30-minute minimum delays on four different lines. Alternative routes and extra buses have been added to guarantee the mobility of these citizens and according to the Spanish public company in charge of building and maintaining the railway infrastructure, Adif, the consequences will still affect nearly 60,000 people and 200 trains throughout the day.  

Pilot experiment to learn English on the train

October 19, 2015 04:37 PM | ACN

The Catalan railway service (FGC) has launched a pilot experiment to learn English during train journeys. The trial started this Monday and two passengers received a one-hour long lesson during their journey from Manresa to Barcelona. The initiative will be tested throughout the month on different railway lines and FGC will then evaluate its definitive implementation. "If it works, we'll do it as a permanent initiative" stated FGC's President Enric Ticó and added that "the goal is to make journeys more pleasant". The lessons will be mainly conversational and are set to be offered to small groups and within an area designated for this purpose. The lessons' duration will run from 15 minutes to more than one hour and will be free of charge as long as the trial is taking place. 

High Speed Train network in Catalonia collapsed this morning

October 8, 2015 11:20 AM | ACN / Sara Prim

A theft of a fibre optic cable at about 7am this morning caused the absolute paralysation of the High Speed Trains’ service in Catalonia. 40 trains and 13,000 passengers all over the territory were affected. The breakdown started in the route between Figueres, in the north of Catalonia and Barcelona and it consequently affected the whole network. The only trains running from early morning are those between Lleida, in the east of Catalonia and Camp de Tarragona, in the south. Alternative routes and extra buses have been added to guarantee the mobility of these citizens and Renfe, the Spanish public trains’ operator, expects to normalise the system during the day by low-speed trains. This serious incident is to be added to a long list of problems which have occurred in this network during the last decade mainly due to the lack of investment in infrastructure by the Spanish Government.

Singer-songwriter and anti-Franco activist Lluís Llach to head pro-independence unitary list in Girona

July 24, 2015 08:37 PM | ACN

Lluís Llach, one of the most famous Catalan musicians and one of the main voices against Franco's dictatorship, will  top the pro-independence unitary list running in the Girona Province in the forthcoming Catalan elections, which should become a 'de facto' referendum on independence. In the Tarragona Province, the 'Junts pel Sí' pro-independence list ('Together for the Yes') will be topped by economics professor Germà Bel, an expert on infrastructure. The list groups together Liberal, Social-Democrat, Green, and Christian-Democrat politicians, as well as many independents and representatives from civil society. It will officially start the independence process if they win the elections and pro-independence parties obtain an absolute majority in the Catalan Parliament. The list is topped by former Eco-Socialist Member of the European Parliament, Raül Romeva, who is running in Barcelona Province.

International Logistics and Material Handling Exhibition kicks off in Barcelona with 550 firms

June 9, 2015 10:13 PM | ACN

The 17th edition of the annual International Logistics and Material Handling Exhibition (SIL) kicked off on Tuesday in Barcelona and will be on until Thursday 11th June. Held at Fira de Barcelona's Montjuic venue, the show will host more than 550 companies (45% international) presenting about a hundred innovations for the first time. The event is the only one of its kind taking place in Spain and the second-biggest in Europe. During the opening ceremony, SIL's President, Enrique Lacalle, pointed out that the logistics sector had not been severely hit by the crisis and now "is giving good news" with a4% rise in corporate turnover expected for 2015. In addition, the nature of the exhibition reflects the character of the hosting city: the Catalan capital's port has the largest logistics concentration of southern Europe and the Mediterranean within a radius of 5 Km and also has a geostrategic location. Finally, the main roads and railway connecting the Iberian Peninsula with the rest of Europe pass through Greater Barcelona.

Entire short- and medium-distance train network run by Spanish Government in Catalonia collapses

May 21, 2015 08:59 PM | ACN

There has been railway chaos throughout Catalonia due to a major failure in the control centre of the IT system of the network run by Adif and operated by Renfe, two public companies both owned and managed by the Spanish Government. This incident is to be added to a long list of problems in this network during the last decade due to a lack of investment by the Spanish Government. All the short- and medium-distance trains in Catalonia using Adif's network stopped completely between 6.30 am and 7.45 am, affecting some 200 trains and 80,000 people at the start of rush hour. Trains started to work again with more than a 1 hour delay and took the entire morning to gradually recover the accumulated delay, but parallel services have also been affected, such as the High-Speed network, where a train was stuck for 2 hours in a tunnel.  The Catalan Government considers the situation "unacceptable" and demands immediate investment, or it will request the transfer of the infrastructure.

Train shuttle linking Barcelona Airport T1 with city centre to start construction work "in a few weeks"

May 14, 2015 11:22 PM | ACN

The Spanish Government have finally announced that construction work for the train shuttle connecting Terminal 1 of Barcelona El Prat Airport to the city centre will kick off "in a few weeks", after many years of delay. The statement was made on Thursday by Spanish Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, after the weekly Cabinet meeting. The new train shuttle will carry travellers between T1, the newest and busiest terminal, to Barcelona's Sants Station in 19 minutes, making a stop at Terminal 2. According to the Deputy PM, the Spanish Ministry of Transport plans "a more-than-€200 million" investment in the project. Santi Vila, the Catalan Minister for Planning and Sustainability, described the announcement as "excellent news". An estimated 7 to 9 million people are expected to use the train shuttle each year.

High-Speed Train to stop at Girona Costa Brava Airport after Catalan Government investment

March 19, 2015 08:38 PM | ACN / Pau Rodríguez

The Catalan Government announced it will bring the High-Speed Train to Girona Costa Brava Airport thanks to an investment of €8 million. On the one hand, the tourism and economic sectors in Girona have celebrated the agreement because the construction will connect the airport to the city of Barcelona, to Barcelona El Prat Airport, to Figueres and to Southern France. On the other hand, High-Speed train experts from the University of Girona (UdG) are sceptical about the performance of these trains at Girona Costa Brava Airport because of the low volume of passengers and the profile of low-cost travellers.

Catalonia to fight climate change by reducing public transportation prices on polluted days

September 25, 2014 09:38 PM | ACN

40 municipalities in Barcelona's Metropolitan Area, are to half the price of public transport during incidents of high air pollution. This is part of a Catalan Government plan for the improvement of air quality with the goal to fight climate change, affecting 4.3 million people. The main objective of the plan is to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and of particle matter less than 10 microns in diameter (PM10). The plan also includes the promotion of rail travel and increasing highway tolls and the fares of municipal parking within these areas by 25% on polluted days. In addition, there will be tax breaks for those industries achieving lower emissions. The measures are aimed at the mobility of people and goods, industrial activity, and citizens’ habits.

Metro tunnels of Barcelona host a 10k underground race at early morning

August 29, 2014 06:55 PM | Helena Lins

On Friday early morning the 10km metro tunnel of Barcelona that links Universitat and Gorg stations became the track of the second edition of Discovery Underground. This is the only urban underground race in the world going through the centre of big cities and it is an original idea of the Spanish television channel Discovery MAX. 300 men and women with background stories that assimilate the channel's premise "ordinary people living extraordinary experiences" ran for about 1.45h, with the first two people arriving at the minute 39. 2014 Discovery Underground Barcelona marks the beginning of the celebrations of the 90th anniversary of the Metro of Barcelona.

Barcelona's Metro Line 2 to remain closed between the 4th and 24th of August

August 1, 2014 08:59 PM | ACN

Barcelona's Metro L2 will be affected by renovation work from next Monday the 4th of August till Sunday the 24th of August. The stretch between Passeig de Gràcia and Clot metro stations will be closed due to the improvement of the railway's mechanical condition. According to the Catalan Ministry of Planning and Sustainability, the partial suspension of the metro service was planned for this August in order to minimise disruptions to travellers, since during this period the demand for urban mobility is lower. However, during the closure of the affected L2 stretch, other public transport alternatives will be provided to customers.

The Spanish Government downplays Catalonia's fiscal deficit and rejects reviewing its funding

July 23, 2014 09:34 PM | ACN

On Tuesday, the Spanish Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro, rejected to review the funding scheme of the Autonomous Communities to grant them more resources, despite the fact that the Catalan Government is under-budgeted. On Wednesday, the Spanish Finance Ministry downplayed Catalonia's fiscal deficit by issuing the so-called fiscal balances, which calculate the inter-territorial fiscal transfers, posting a significantly low Catalan contribution. According to the Spanish Government's new calculations, Catalonia gave away €8.46 billion in 2011, representing 4.35% of its GDP. The figure is significantly lower than the Catalan Government's calculations: €15.01 billion and €11.09 billion, using two complementary methodologies used by the Spanish Executive in 2008 and agreed among independent university experts.

BASF postpones its Tarragona intermodal station to 2017 due to Madrid's delay building the Mediterranean Corridor

July 21, 2014 08:58 PM | ACN

German chemical multinational BASF does not expect to launch its intermodal merchant station in Tarragona's petro-chemical compound until early 2017, two years after it initially forecast. The date of commissioning, as recognised by the company, is conditioned by the start of construction of the third rail connecting the railway line in Tarragona to the Mediterranean Railway Corridor (a strategic transport priority for the European Union), an infrastructure the Spanish Government keeps delaying. Although there is currently no start date for construction, BASF has set up the company ‘Combiterminal Catalonia SL’: a 'joint venture' with Contank SA, Hoyer España SA, and Schmidt Holding GmbH and Tradillo Inversiones SL (Pañalón Group) collaborating to build and operate the station.

Barcelona El Prat Airport to be connected by metro by early 2016

June 4, 2014 03:18 PM | ACN

The Barcelona Metro will reach El Prat Airport by the first half of 2016, perhaps even earlier, according to forecasts announced on Wednesday by the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas. The L9 line connecting Barcelona municipality to El Prat Airport and other cities has been under construction since 2002, and was originally anticipated to open in 2008, but the financial crisis and the state of public finances have delayed its full completion. An initial stretch of the line became operational in 2009, located at the opposite end to the airport. Once fully finished, the underground line will consist of two branches spanning across the Barcelona metropolitan area, making it the longest automatic metro line in Europe. The entire project will represent a total investment of €16 billion, €3 billion of which is for the airport connection. The test phase of the airport stretch will begin this autumn and should be completed by early 2016 or earlier.