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Political commitment to a new sustainable rail transport to boost the Mediterranean corridor

  • The Spanish and Catalan governments address the FERRMED study,which is committed to an integrated, fast, and flexible rail transport
  • Identified the key rail corridors to meet the objectives of the European Great Deal

The president of FERRMED, Joan Amorós, presented today at the Barcelona Logistics Show the conclusions of his new +FIRRST study. Amorós detailed the advantages for the environment and for the real application of the Mediterranean corridor of this integrated, fast, and flexible rail transport system. 

+FIRRST identifies 18 thousand kilometers of high priority investments (backbone) of railway corridors above the EU threshold, and a second priority of investments (extended backbone) in 8,400 kilometers in member states below the EU limit. +FIRRST also identifies the main logistics hubs of the EU (attached map)

The study breaks down how to efficiently move containers and truck trailers and puts the train at the service of the road as a more versatile means of transport. These improvements in freight transport would alleviate the 160 billion euros per year associated with the inefficiency of the European transport system and would contribute decisively to meeting the environmental demands set by the EU by 2030. 

During the session at the SIL, Xavier Flores, Secretary General of Infrastructures of the Spanish Government, celebrated the quality of +FIRRST because it details the necessary trains and the affected terminals. A study that, according to Flores, will help the Spanish government's project to double the investment in intermodal optimization, partly with the help of European recovery funds. 

Isidre Gavín, secretary of territory and mobility of the government of Catalonia, recalled that Catalonia accounts to 26% of Spanish exports despite the Spanish government executing only 1 out of 3 euros of the infrastructure budgeted for Catalonia. That is why he has asked Spain and France to invest and act quickly to adapt the rail freight corridor linking the two countries to the European track gauge. 

Josep María Rovira, Secretary General of FERRMED, added that the overall +FIRRST conclusions will be presented in Brussels on November 15.