Liberalization of the railway sector
New operators in the market
If we take a look at the landscape of our tracks, we can see that freight trains from various operators have been in use for years. As of this financial year, they can now also be used for passenger services, thus providing users with a wider selection.
The aim is to stimulate and optimise the use of the General Interest Railway Network (Red Ferroviaria de Interés General; RFIG) and ensure the quality and punctuality of the service, facilitating the access of new operators to the railway infrastructure and thus offering users the possibility of choosing between different operators and prices. This should lead to an increase in supply through competition, not only between operators, but also between different modes of transport, both for goods and passengers.
The most recent step has been the deregulation of passenger train operations.
In April 2019, the draft Modification of the Network Statement 2019, which contained the aspects that will govern the deregulation of commercial passenger services in the RFIG, was sent to the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) and railway operators for their comments.
The Network Statement detailed the characteristics of the capacity allocation system of both entities, with the aim of enabling interested parties to provide nationwide passenger services from 14 December, 2020, as established by European regulations.
Furthermore, Adif and Adif Alta Velocidad have established objective criteria for capacity allocation, based on promoting the greatest use of available infrastructures, in an objective, transparent and non-discriminatory manner.
The framework agreements present three options or packages (A, B and C) depending on the number of tracks or trains per day, and will last for a period of ten years. This will enable at least three railway undertakings to operate optimally and thereby implement the deregulation process being promoted by the EU's fourth railway package.
- Madrid-Barcelona-French border and Valencia-Barcelona
- Madrid-Levante (Valencia and Alicante)
In order to achieve this supply, Adif and Adif-AV have been preparing a more effective and efficient railway operation system than the current one, which will improve both the operation of the infrastructure manager itself and the railway companies, thus achieving a greater and more competitive proposal of railway services for society.
On 11 May, 2020, the Framework Agreements were signed with the respective operators, after the mandatory report by the CNMC, which at all times ensured the fairness and objectivity of the process.