This railway highway would have a direct impact on the reduction of costs and the emission of polluting gases

The Algeciras – Zaragoza railway highway will come into operation in the second half of 2025

The implementation of a network of railway highways, with Zaragoza as a “nervous point”, will mean a “paradigm change” in Spanish logistics

Raúl Gascón Tella Thursday, May 30, 2024 / 17:02

The railway highway between Algeciras and Zaragoza will begin to move trains full of goods in the second half of 2025. The need to adapt up to 61 gauges and 28 bridges has delayed a project that will allow up to 34 trailers to be loaded onto the train and, therefore, removed from the road , with important competitive and environmental advantages . Currently, the works, most of them in 19th century tunnels , are in the bidding process or already being carried out to arrive on time.

This was explained by the commissioner of the Government of Spain for the Atlantic Corridor , José Antonio Sebastián, who highlighted the “ paradigm change” that the expansion of railway highways throughout the country will mean for Spanish logistics , with Zaragoza as a “ “neural point” of these infrastructures. “Last year more than 500,000 semi-trailers passed through the Strait of Gibraltar , and it is expected that in 2025 there will be 600,000. If we only take 10% of those trucks, and put them on the railway highway , the railway quota would increase by more than half a point with just 60,000 ,” he said after participating in a meeting with businessmen from the ALIA logistics cluster.

It will not be the first railway highway in the country, although the agreement between the Government of Aragon and the Government of Andalusia in 2017 did open the ban on the development of these infrastructures. The first road will link Madrid and Valencia , since, as the commissioner explained, it has not needed to carry out any work along its route. Zaragoza will also have various connections, such as Seville or Huelva in the south, or Tarragona in the Mediterranean.

Not in vain, this railway highway would have a direct impact on the reduction of costs and the emission of polluting gases, as well as on accidents on the roads by reducing the number of trucks that would travel through it. “Given the lack of carriers, and we are always talking about intermodality , it is a paradigm shift. 34 semi-trailers would be 34 drivers who do not get on and off. If you arrive in Zaragoza by train from Algeciras , the section of Morocco , the sea, the highway has been completed and you will continue by road. We will avoid hundreds of tons and we have facilitated intermodal transport,” he stated.


Meanwhile, with Zaragoza being a major logistical hub in southern Europe, Aragon is fighting to have at least one cross-border connection with France through the Pyrenees of Huesca, either through the Canfranc or with the Central Pyrenean Crossing , but the lack of collaboration of the French Government slows down the availability of these connections . “While Spain is trying to finish its cross-border connections in Irun or Portbou in 2030, the French Government is taking this completion to 2042. ” The Government of Spain is putting very significant pressure because we want greater reciprocity on the French side. The TCP does not appear in community regulations ,” stated the commissioner for the Atlantic Corridor.

A similar issue happens with the Canfranc , with the Government of Spain advancing work to update the connection to the Pyrenean station, but without “ reciprocity ” from the French Executive. “The Government of Spain has completely renewed the Canfranc line , but when it is a cross-border line , there must be reciprocity. We are not having it even in the other connections that are already a reality ,” added José Antonio Sebastián.