railway

The largest container terminal in southern Europe is officially unveiled in Barcelona Port

September 28, 2012 02:12 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan capital hosts the largest and most modern container terminal of the Mediterranean Sea, a true gate for cargo ships, linking Europe with the Middle East, Northern Africa and Asia. BEST, which stands for Barcelona Europe South Terminal, represents a €515 million investment by Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH). This week it has unveiled the first part of the project: 100 hectares to store containers, 1.5 kilometres of docking space for cargo ships, 98 cranes and a provisional international-width railway connection to compete with northern European harbours. However, the Spanish Government has not started the definitive railway connection yet, despite many promises.

Catalan freight company TCB invests €60 million into the Port of Barcelona’s infrastructure

September 13, 2012 12:29 AM | CNA / David Tuxworth

The Mayor of Barcelona welcomed the company’s investments and commitment to efficiency at the Port of Barcelona. The Catalan harbour is significantly increasing its container traffic in the last few years. Barcelona’s Port aims to become the main logistical hub in Southern Europe, using the international standard rail gauge to directly connect to Central Europe and new freight terminals. The Catalan company TCB is expanding its freight railway station and its power substation, as well as enlarging the ship docking space. The improvements will increase the maximum number of shipping containers transported by TCB from 0.9 million to 2.3 million by the end of 2013.

Barcelona Port becomes the largest oil logistics platform in the Mediterranean

April 27, 2012 11:58 PM | CNA

The Russian company Lukoil has reached an agreement with the Catalan company Meroil to build 13 new oil tanks at Barcelona Port, which are able to store 360,000 cubic metres. Furthermore, Barcelona Port is the only Mediterranean port ready to host the largest and deepest oil tankers. The Catalan President, Artur Mas, unveiled the infrastructure and emphasised Catalonia is strengthening its position as “Europe’s gateway for goods coming from Asia and North Africa”. He also noted Catalonia’s attractive position for foreign investment. Barcelona Port is linked by international width standard railway with Central Europe and has the Zona Franca logistics and industrial district next to it.

High-Speed Train from Barcelona to France now delayed until the end of 2013

April 13, 2012 12:10 AM | CNA / Xavier Pi / Marina López

According to the Catalan Government, the High-Speed Train service linking the Catalan capital with the French border has been delayed one more year, this time until the end of 2013. The reason is that work on two sections of the railway, managed by the Spanish Government, is still pending to be allocated. They are the Barcelona exit and the section through Girona; both total €33 million according to the Catalan Government. The rest is already built and the service between the northern city of Figueres and the French city of Perpignan is already in operation. However, this strategic railway is not fully completed between Figueres and Barcelona due to a long list of delays.

Barcelona Port affected by a lack of investment from the Spanish Government

March 6, 2012 12:13 AM | CNA

The enlargement of Barcelona Port, where Hutchison’s new container terminal will be located, was supposed to be linked by International-width standard railway to Central Europe and be better connected by road. However, the Spanish Minister for Transport and Public Works, Ana Pastor, announced that work cannot start this year; neither can she guarantee the provisional solution will be in place in June, when the new container terminal was supposed to start operating. Since the Spanish Government has not started the work, the technical studies have expired. “Hopefully they will be redone by the end of the year”, said Pastor.

Catalans shocked by decision to prioritise the Central Railway Corridor

February 17, 2012 12:16 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Spanish Minister for Public Works and Transport, Ana Pastor, announced she would prioritise the Central Railway Corridor, which would link the Gibraltar area with Madrid, Zaragoza, Toulouse and the rest of Europe through the Central Pyrenees. The European Commission announced in October it would not fund the Central Corridor, but those along the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coasts, where the main industrial centres and ports are located. The Catalan business community and political parties have pushed for the Mediterranean Corridor. Their fear was that the current crisis combined with prioritising the construction of a second corridor might push resources away from the Mediterranean.

The Spanish Government recognises a €5.75 billion lack of investment in railway infrastructure in Catalonia

February 13, 2012 10:53 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

After last week’s minor train accident, the Spanish Minister for Transport, Ana Pastor, wanted to personally check Barcelona Metropolitan Area’s railway infrastructure. Pastor has recognised that the Spanish Government had not invested the required amount in railway infrastructure in Catalonia. She said that €5.748 billion has not been invested. Many Catalan voices have criticised the Spanish Government’s lack of investment in key transport infrastructure for Catalonia’s economy.

High-Speed Train between Barcelona and Madrid is reduced to 2h 30 min

October 25, 2011 12:04 AM | CNA

Trains will reach a maximum speed of 310 km/h along some points of the trip. The improvement is due to the implementation of a new navigation system that has reduced the journey time for direct trains by eight minutes. The Spanish train operator, RENFE, hopes to overtake air travel as the preferred way to go from one city to the other. The air route between Barcelona and Madrid is the busiest in Europe and it used to be the busiest in the world.

Central Europe will be better connected by rail with Spain’s Mediterranean ports, industrial centres and tourist destinations

October 19, 2011 10:59 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The European Commission has included the Mediterranean Railway Corridor for freight and passengers among the next EU transport priorities. The EU might pay between 10% and 20% of the construction costs if it is finished before 2030. The ports of Barcelona, Tarragona, Valencia, Almería and Algeciras will become true European gateways to North Africa and Asia. In addition, high-speed trains will travel along the Spanish Mediterranean coast to France. Catalan politicians and business people have unanimously celebrated the good news but believe it comes too late and fear the Spanish Government could still prioritise other corridors. In fact, the EC also included other corridors, which pass through Madrid. Therefore Spain’s traditional radial model may still persist.

The European Parliament considers the Mediterranean Railway Corridor to be "absolutely imperative and crucial"

October 10, 2011 11:45 PM | CNA / Albert Segura

The Chairman of the EP’s Transport Committee, the British MEP Brian Simpson, has stated that building the Mediterranean Railway Corridor for freight and passengers is “absolutely imperative and crucial” for the European economy. On the contrary, the third corridor going through the Central Pyrenees, linking Zaragoza and Toulouse is “not-viable and not-needed”. “Drilling mountains is very very expensive”, he warned. The Mediterranean Railway Corridor would link Central and Northern Europe with Spain’s Mediterranean ports by international-width tracks. In addition, it would include a high-speed train service for passengers.

The European Commission would include the Mediterranean Railway Corridor as an EU transport priority

October 5, 2011 09:19 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

According to some MEPs, the international-width high-speed railway corridor for freight and passengers along Spain’s Mediterranean coast that connects ports, industrial centres and tourist resorts would be included in the next priority map of European transport networks. The necessary infrastructural project for the EU economy would link Central and Northern Europe with Spain’s ports that trade directly with North Africa and Asia, enabling trains going non-stop on international-width railway. The EU would pay for 25% of its cost. The Central Corridor passing through Madrid, Zaragoza and the Central Pyrenees would fall from the list, as economic criteria are decisive in times of economic difficulties. However, the definitive list will be released on October 19th.

Political leaders and business people from Catalonia, Valencia, Murcia, and Balearic Islands push the EU for the Mediterranean Railway Corridor

September 22, 2011 12:06 AM | CNA / Albert Segura / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan President Artur Mas has asked the European Union “not to forget about a land that feels European and needs deeper and closer ties with Europe” in the ‘FERRMED Trans-European Cluster Conference’ in Brussels. Previously he has met with the Vice President of the European Commission, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship, Antonio Tajani. The Mediterranean Railway Corridor would directly link Central and Northern Europe with Spanish ports and subsequently North Africa.