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Rafa Simó claims the need for the Cantabrian-Mediterranean corridor

15 September 2022

15-09-2022. Claim the Cantabrian-Mediterranean Railway Corridor and that its execution makes all its logistical potential a reality for the companies of the autonomous communities that it runs through, the whole of Spain and, especially Aragon and the Valencian Community. With this objective, the Forum for the Promotion of the Cantabrian-Mediterranean Corridor was held today in Zaragoza, organized by CEOE Aragón and the Business Confederation of the Valencian Community (CEV), which has had the support of both regional governments and has brought together a good number of transport and logistics companies and experts at the headquarters of the Aragonese business confederation.

The presidents of CEOE Aragón, Miguel Marzo and CEV, Salvador Navarro, have signed in this meeting a Joint Declaration for the Development of the Corridor and the Increase of the Capacity of the Line Sagunto-Teruel-Zaragoza for the traffic of merchandise and passengers, claiming its “complete execution”, as well as the “modernization and increase in freight and passenger transport capacity of the Zaragoza-Teruel-Sagunto railway line, as a factor of competitiveness and business and territorial development”.

The presidents of CEV and CEOE Aragón have demanded that urgent action be taken to make this Corridor really operational, pointing out that “investments aimed at reducing speed and service limitations – in the section between the two Autonomous Communities – do not occur at the desirable rate” and which has been suffering from shortcomings for years (splitting, electrification, new routes…) that continue to limit its potential use, forcing companies to divert their freight transport to other alternative railways or roads with greater distance and, therefore, more cost in money, time and polluting emissions”.

“The electrification, the splitting of the entire line and urgently in the flat sections where possible, the change of direction in PLAZA and the support that can be given to the international railway connection through the central Pyrenees” have been aspects especially highlighted by the President of CEOE Aragón, Miguel Marzo, together with the contribution to the territorial structuring that would reinforce this infrastructure, “which must be a country project and is vital for the companies of Aragón” and critical for Teruel’s.

For his part, the President of the CEV, Salvador Navarro, understands that this Corridor “is an infrastructure of national interest”, as it unites six autonomous communities — Cantabria, the Basque Country, La Rioja, Navarra, Aragón and the Valencian Community — which add up to more than 20% of the national GDP, and has claimed both the Cantabrian-Mediterranean Corridor, as well as the Mediterranean, for being “necessary to become the southern gateway to Europe, which requires efficient port facilities, like the ones we have, but also the connection of these ports and business parks with a high-capacity railway axis”.

Navarro and Marzo have signed this declaration supported by the presidents of the Government of Aragon, Javier Lambán, and the Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig, who have closed the event; as well as the President of ADIF, María Luisa Domínguez. This has stated that the Cantabrian-Mediterranean Corridor is “a strategic axis for the progress of our business fabric and our regions, in which to specify the logistics development strategy”. She has highlighted that, within it, the Master Plan for the Zaragoza-Teruel line has a global budget of 450 million euros and an investment mobilized to date of 300”. (Link to full speech)


Before his intervention, the Forum had two round tables led, respectively, by experts in Infrastructure and Communications, and by businessmen, who have contributed their vision of what this Corridor should entail and the limitations on transport and the development of the fabric productive that its current state implies.

In the first, moderated by Cristina Plumed, President of the Camp de Morvedre Business Association (ASECAM); Salvador Galve, Dean of the College of Industrial Engineers of Aragon and La Rioja (COIIAR) and President of Alianza, has made it clear that the Corridor “is strategic for the connections of the Iberian Peninsula with Europe in the TEN-T network ”, advocating “the need to plan and work immediately as a country to carry out the execution in the medium term of a new route in accordance with the EU guidelines and especially the Sagunto-Teruel-Zaragoza section”, as shown by the that “although the route remains the same, the investments of recent years have multiplied by ten the volume of weekly frequencies, together with the need to decarbonise freight transport. Zaragoza must become the dry port of Valencia”.

For his part, the General Director of Aragón Logistics Platform, Pedro Sas, stressed that, in order to bring intermodality and rail transport closer to the productive fabric, it is key to “promote infrastructures that enable better transport operations for our industry, so that the firm commitment to the Cantabrian-Mediterranean Corridor is a fundamental and priority objective, materialized in strategic projects such as the expansion works of the PLATEA railway infrastructure – with an investment forecast of around 6 million euros and starting in November – and the continued investment in studies and analyzes that allow progress in future railway projects in PLAZA.”

The round table has been completed with the presidents of the Port of Valencia, Aurelio Martínez, and the Port of Castellón, Rafael Simó. The president of the Port of Valencia has highlighted that “10% of the total goods that enter or leave the Port of Valencia by train already transit through the Cantabrian-Mediterranean Corridor. He has also underlined that this infrastructure allows the Community of Aragon to be structured from north to south and the opportunity to expand Canfranc and the connection with France”. “We have to work so that Spain stops being a railway island”, he concluded. Simó, for his part, sees the Cantabrian-Mediterranean Corridor “as an opportunity to generate synergies between the port of Castellón and the geographical area of ​​Aragón because it will allow the export of clay from this area to other countries, and also its agri-food products”. In addition, as you have pointed out, PortCastelló offers the possibility of setting up new industries thanks to the Octopus project, which will make it possible to have 1 million square meters of port land, in addition to the almost 2 million square meters of logistics-industrial area next to the port and the future intermodal station.

In the second round table, on a business level, the President of the National Transport Committee and the Federation of Transport Companies of Zaragoza (FETRAZ), Carmelo González, called for “taking advantage of the opportunity to put our trucks with their merchandise on the train and, with this, reduce the carbon footprint, promote intermodality and especially seek to improve the working conditions of our professionals”. Ángel Gil, President of the Logistics Cluster of Aragon (ALIA), has also had an impact on this, for whom “having an efficient rail connection between Levante and the Basque Country would allow Aragonese, Riojan and Navarran companies together with the communities of origin and destination , enhance its logistics activities and give a significant boost to the decarbonisation of transport”.

As stated by the President of CSP Logitren, Pedro Catalán, with the Mediterranean Corridor, on UIC gauge, line 610 and the Mediterranean Cantabtic Corridor will be the only departure to the north for Iberian gauge trains. “We need a Corridor that allows us to carry trains with loads equal to those supported by the Mediterranean corridor and remain competitive. The Cantabrian Corridor becomes essential”. Finally, Jessica Montero Villar, from Development and Marketing TCM (Miranda Container Terminal), underlined that “this corridor is a great project to promote the railway in our country and promote the north-Mediterranean connection. That is precisely the object and function of TCM. In Miranda de Ebro we already have important railway and logistics infrastructures in operation. Connecting them in this project would make it possible to generate synergies and speed up their implementation so that the benefits of freight transport by rail are no longer a pending issue”.

These Interventions have been moderated by the Secretary General of the Federation of Transport Companies of Aragon, Fernando Viñas.

The session was closed by the regional presidents, Ximo Puig and Javier Lambán, who showed their support for the business demands to promote this railway corridor.

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