The president of the València Port Authority (PAV) indicates that the strategy to boost rail-port traffic is to support intermodal projects in strategic areas and promote corridors such as Canfranc or Lisbon

Martínez advocates the involvement of all agents to improve the railway traffic of the Spanish port system, the main demanders of railway services

The head of Valenciaport has taken part in a Spanish-Portuguese conference on freight transport

The PAV is going to invest 240 million Euro in the next years to favour the accessibility and improvement of Valenciaport’s railway network

València, February 21st, 2022.- The president of the Port Authority of Valencia (APV), Aurelio Martínez, has indicated that the strategy for the revitalisation of rail traffic in the port system has to focus on “participating in intermodal projects in strategic areas through dry ports or loading points, and continuing to promote corridors such as Canfranc or Lisbon”. The president of Valenciaport took part in a Spanish-Portuguese freight transport summit in the Port of Sines, where he addressed the deficit in rail freight transport and the need to boost investment in this means of transport to improve Spain’s competitiveness.

“We have a railway network that is not very competitive, deficient and distant from the productive system, as it is more focused on the movement of passengers. In fact, freight transport only represents 4.6% of traffic, far below the European average of 17% or 40% in the United States. The lack of commitment to this system means higher logistics costs for companies, weak intermodal chains, a loss of competitiveness of the productive fabric and a higher environmental impact due to greater dependence on fossil fuels,” said the head of Valenciaport.

In the last years, Spain has made a great effort in railway investment, mainly in the High Speed for passengers, with a practically null investment for freight transport. “The ports are very committed to rail investment, we are promoting it, something that should also involve other public and private institutions. Out of 4,750 million euros of investment for basic infrastructures of the Port Authorities until 2025, 1,000 million are destined to different railway aspects such as internal lines of the ports, connections with the general interest railway network or improvement of the performance of the railway network that affects ports, among others”. In fact, Valenciaport is going to allocate 240 million euros in the coming years to actions such as the remodelling of the railway network in the Port of Valencia, the electrification of tracks, the adaptation of the network to the European gauge, the railway access to the Port of Sagunto or the improvement of the Valencia-Sagunto-Teruel-Zaragoza line.

At present, 50% of the freight moved by train in Spain originates from/destines in ports, which are the main demanders of rail services. However, the average distribution between road and rail is still far apart. In the Spanish port system, 5.4% of goods entering or leaving the ports do so by rail and 94.6% by road. In the case of Valenciaport, this percentage stands at 7.3% for rail and 92.7% for lorries.

The president of the PAV explained that the result of this modal transport process is a high consumption of fossil fuels and significant emissions. Hence, the need to increase the use of the railway in freight transport as it is being done in Spanish ports. During his speech, Martínez pointed out that “the rail corridors that work better are those established in the old lines abandoned by the new AVE routes such as Madrid-Valencia or Zaragoza-Barcelona, as well as the industrial area of Vizcaya”. In the case of Valenciaport, it is operating on the Madrid-Centre-Portugal; Mediterranean-Atlantic; and Mediterranean rail corridors, with 80 trains a week to/from the Port of Valencia.

“The investments we are making at Valenciaport are yielding results. Thus, for example, we are allocating more than 84.6 million euros to refurbish the Zaragoza-Teruel-Sagunto-Valencia line, which is being noticed in the increase in traffic on the Cantabrian-Mediterranean corridor with weeks that can reach 40 trains on average”, explained Aurelio Martínez.

Portuguese-Spanish conference

Aurelio Martínez participated in the panel ‘The importance for the ports of the railway corridors of the Iberian Peninsula and their connection with the rest of Europe’ together with the president of the Port Authority of Sines, José Luis Cacho, the president of the College of Mechanical Engineering, Aires Ferreira, and the dean of the College of Civil Engineers of Extremadura, José Manuel Blanco.

This event was organised by the Consejo General de Colegios Oficiales de Ingenieros Industriales and the Ordem dos Engenheiros de Portugal in the port of Sines (Portugal). The meeting was attended by representatives of the logistics sector at the highest level, such as the president of the Spanish Logistics Centre, Ana González; Antonio Pérez Millán, president of the Union of Commodal Transport Operators, Pedro Guedes, president of Comboios de Portugal. In addition, Jorge Ballesteros, Deputy Director of Railway Planning of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda and José Clemente, Director of Emprendimentos e Infraestruturas of the Government of Portugal also attended the event.