In mid-November, Adif, the Spanish rail infrastructure manager, outlined its plans for developing Autopistas Feroviarias (railway highways) services, focusing on enhancing rail freight transport.
A significant project in Adif's agenda is implementing Railway Highway services on the Zaragoza-Tarragona route via Lleida, scheduled for the first quarter of 2024. This project involves adapting six tunnels and 16 overpasses to accommodate the traffic generated by these services, with an estimated investment exceeding 60 million euros. This route, a vital part of Spain's rail network, experiences over 100 weekly circulations in each direction. It plays a strategic role within the Mediterranean Corridor, facilitating connections between Algeciras, Huelva, Vitoria, Tarragona, and Barcelona, leveraging the synergy between maritime and rail transport.
Furthermore, the Zaragoza-Tarragona section is a critical junction for the Iberian Peninsula's primary production and consumption hubs, Madrid and Barcelona. It connects the central and southern regions with the northeast of Spain and the rest of Europe.
This initiative aligns with the interests of logistics operators, port authorities, and railway companies aiming to introduce railway highways services for P-400 type semi-trailers, primarily those carrying international cargo from Turkey, Italy, and Morocco, arriving through the ports of Tarragona, Barcelona, and Algeciras. Adif aims to capitalise on the concentration of heavy vehicles at these ports and eliminate road haulage costs, making rail transport an attractive option.
Adif will also enhance the Zaragoza-Tarragona line through Lleida by extending the section tracks to a useful length of 750 meters at six stations, with a total investment exceeding 25 million euros. These improvements complement the completed work at the Vilaverd station.
In addition to the Zaragoza-Tarragona project, Adif is actively working on other Railway Highway projects across Spain, including Algeciras-Zaragoza, Madrid-Valencia, Seville-Madrid, Valencia-Badajoz-Entroncamento (Portugal), and Huelva-Madrid routes.