FERRMED’s President, Joan Amorós, presented the entity’s study on the transport of goods by rail and its future needs at European level in an event at Girona’s Chamber of Commerce earlier this month. The Study of Traffic and Modal Shift Optimization in the EU aims to optimize the European Union's land freight transport system to reach the best available road-rail combination.
Amorós underlined that the railway participation in the overall terrestrial traffic of goods is stagnant at 18%, a figure that goes down to 4% at Spanish level. Such figures pale in comparison to the European Commission’s Green Deal target, set at a 30% railway participation in distances over 300 kilometers.
FERRMED proposes to invest decidedly in the 70,000 kilometers of the core network sections of the main trans-European network to overcome the current stagnation (see map below) This core network concentrates 65% of the traffic. The study’s early conclusions also underline the need to develop a new integrated system of coordination of the terrestrial transport of goods.
Priority works in Girona
As for Girona, Amorós pointed out the TGV station at Girona airport as the main priority for the area. He also outlined the need to build a new freight terminal in Vilamalla (to double down on Amazon’s implementation and other companies that it would attract) and the need to establish the European train gauge between Figueres and Portbou. Ferrmed's study also proposes new freight terminals in Celrà and the airport.
Amorós warned that the Spanish government option of integrating goods with passenger trains would be a disaster because it would go against both forms of transport.
As for Catalonia, FERRMED proposes these new lines:
- Complete the change to international gauge (3rd lane) already scheduled.
- Split the Castellbisbal– Martorell line (including by-pass to this city) and split the Mollet – Sant Celoni line (to avoid the surroundings).
- Redo the Roda de Berà – Constantí – Reus line and one more route from Sant Salvador to Martorell.
- Additional international gauge (UIC) route on the Lleida – Manresa – Barcelona line to Cervera. From Cervera, new international gauge line to Igualada and Martorell.
- New high-speed line Tarragona - Castellón