Madrid, May 12 (EFE).- The deregulation of rail passenger transport and a commitment to sustainability are key for Adif President María Luisa Domínguez to confirm that the railroad sector in Spain is in a “sweet” moment, with more than 6.2 billion euros of European funds earmarked for the industry.
The executive told EFE that they intend to use at least 5.8 billion euros for direct investments, of which, according to Esade’s Center for Economic Policies, EsadeEcPol, tenders have already been issued for 2.439 billion euros from the recovery funds between January 1, 2021 and February 28, 2022.
The president of Adif explained that among its main objectives is to advance sustainability and, as part of that strategy, the public entity has been “on the front line” because “for some time now” there have been demands to purchase electricity from renewable sources.
“Right now we guarantee that 90 percent of the energy purchased is from renewables. And I think a very important element is that society is increasingly demanding a transformation to sustainable transport. We are in a sweet moment for the railways,” she said during the interview.
On the subject of sustainable mobility, Adif will take part in the first Global Mobility Call (GMC) congress, organized by IFEMA Madrid from June 14 to 16, where some of their solutions such as the Ecomilla project will be presented.
The program, implemented as a pilot project at Madrid’s Atocha station, aims to create zero-emission areas at stations, ensuring that any vehicle entering or leaving premises – whether they are trains, cars or other mobility systems – be “as sustainable as possible.”
Domínguez said that the first results of the program were good, before explaining another of the initiatives to be present, the Railway Smart Grid.
The pilot program has been commissioned for the Madrid-Levante high speed line, where an efficient and intelligent electric energy management system is to be installed that, among other functions, is to optimize energy billing in relation to the electricity market and control power flows in real time.
“It seems that the initiative that has been taken to create this forum -in relation to the GMC- is very exciting and challenging. It is going to give us many opportunities for all of us who are fighting for and committing to sustainability. In this sense, I would say that rail transport can benefit from it,” she said.
Finally, among the sector’s important developments with the arrival of new companies in rail passenger transport, the Adif president considers that the changes have helped the industry to compete in areas “where it was a little more difficult.”
In her opinion, the emergence of other operators with “other fares and other business models,” has shown that, “in the months since the opening,” the difference with private road vehicles has been reduced on some routes.
One year ago, Ouigo, France’s SNCF’s low-cost rail operator, started operations to compete in the passenger market with Renfe, and towards the end of the year Ilsa’s Iryo service is to begin operation on the high-speed train network. EFE