Of the runners, of the speeds

The approach was the same.

Of the runners, of the speeds

The approach was the same. Its layout is part of a mesh that was put on paper in 2013 to shape a rail network that would connect ports, airports, logistics platforms and production centers from end to end in Europe. The Mediterranean Corridor and the Atlantic Corridor, the two branches that extended across the Peninsula, were erected at the same time as an opportunity for development and activity. However, nine years later, administrations and businessmen from the northwest insist on an "imbalance" between the two roads, which would advance at two speeds. While the Levantine has already added more than 200 new kilometers in five years, on the other side of the country they are waiting for financing for "basic" actions on roads at risk of becoming obsolete in some points or that are outside the minimum technical standards that marks Brussels.

Only in Castilla y León, the route still has 200 kilometers of single track, when the requirement is that it be double.

To tackle the 'disadvantage', from Castilla y León, the regional Executive has insisted for years on a "impulse" and a "symmetrical" disbursement, which it understands has not occurred. The latest General State Budgets serve as an example. In 2022, 1,700 million were allocated for the Mediterranean Corridor and about 1,400 for the Atlantic, and in the previous ones the difference was even higher. Beyond the Accounts, new financing channels are now being opened to advance through European funds and guarantee that "equality" with the Levantine branch, which has significant business support from large Spanish companies, such as Mercadona or Boluda.

The new "opportunities", explain from the General Directorate of Transport, come from the hand of the Next Generation Recovery Fund. The Ministry has reserved for direct management or through Renfe and Adif a sum of 4,622 million, of which 2,968 will be allocated to both corridors and it is expected that the imbalances will be "resolved". The aim is not to stop the Mediterranean branch, but to fulfill the development of both infrastructures with their respective weight, since fifty percent of the freight traffic between the Peninsula and the rest of Europe is carried out through the façade atlantic

The Board has prepared and sent to the Ministry a series of priorities to be addressed and that would basically point to the adaptation of the network to the standards set by Europe or else that dream connection with the ports "may not be real". These are train lengths, ramps, gauges, electrification and locking systems. There are 17 points where they are not met, 200 kilometers in Castilla y León and 180 more in the extension of the Corridor to the northwest, after Galicia and Asturias were included in 2018 in a route that initially connected with Portugal only through Salamanca after enter the Community through the Basque «Y».

Among the priorities of Castilla y León with the Atlantic Corridor, the Manzanal bottleneck on the León – Ponferrada line, completing the electrification between Salamanca and Fuentes de Oñoro, the accurate connection through Burgos with the Basque «Y» or the reopening of the Aranda de Duero–Madrid Line, which, among others, are also included in the allegations to the 'Indicative Strategy for the development, maintenance and renovation of the railway infrastructures that make up the General Interest Railway Network' of the Government both by the Board and by the Economic and Social Council (CES) of Castilla y León. Together with these two proposals, Moncloa has to its credit many other documents that point in the same direction, sent from the alliance with other regions of Spain and also of Portugal that have joined forces by establishing a common position for the promotion of the Atlantic Corridor.

From Lisbon (Portugal) to Mannheim (Germany), the branch runs along more than 6,000 kilometers of track through Germany, France, Spain and Portugal, docking at fifteen ports and embarking at 34 airports.

Given its strategic location, Castilla y León acquires a logistical relevance that is quantified in more than 117 million tons with origin-destination in the Community, close to 10.5 percent of the national total, of which more than 2.7 million They are international transport.

In this scenario, the Community has a very low rail modal share in land freight transport, 1.3 percent in tons, far from the 9.6 percent European average, although closer to the national 1.8 percent .


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