European Commission logo

High-speed railway links Galicia to rest of Spain

  • 14 April 2016

This major EU-funded transport infrastructure improves Northern Spain’s railway network, significantly reducing travel time and creating over 9 000 jobs.

It currently takes more than seven hours by train to travel the nearly 600 km of difficult terrain separating the Spanish regions of Madrid and Galicia. The planned EU-supported railway line cuts this journey in half. 

This ‘North-Northwest Madrid-Galicia Corridor’ is part of the wider trans-European transport network, the so-called TEN-T programme promoting interoperability between European high-speed rail systems. 

The project’s main objective is to improve the competitiveness of rail links, particularly between Madrid and the cities along the corridor (Madrid, Zamora, Ourense, Santiago, Vigo and A Coruña). The wider goals include better linking up the Spanish-Portuguese high-speed train infrastructure and integrating the Iberian Peninsula into the European railway network. 

Boosting the local economy

The main beneficiaries of the Madrid-Galicia Corridor are first and foremost communities through which the improved railway service passes, with obvious benefits for local economies and the prospects of new business and job-creation.  

More than 8 300 new jobs are foreseen during the project’s lifetime with 1 000 more likely to be created once the train line is fully operational. Faster rail connections also encourage more cooperation and favour inter-regional tourism. 

Connecting to the European railway network

The first phase of the work focuses on the Lubián-Orense stretch of the network and covers a total length of 28.77 km. Improvements in the infrastructure mean trains can run at speeds of up to 250 km/h. Part of the work includes a widening of the platforms in stations along the way to make way for trains in both directions (dual tracks), in line with international standards and making them more compatible with the trans-European transport network. 

Two public entities, attached to the Spanish Ministry of Equipment and Transport, are involved in the project.  ADIF is responsible for the administration and construction of the railway infrastructure, while RENFE-Operadora is responsible for the rail services.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Corredor Norte-Noreste de Alta Velocidad L.A.V. Madrid – Galicia; Tramo Lubián-Orense. Plataforma Fase 1” amounts to EUR 286 005 702, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 201 164 971 through the “Galicia” Operational Programme for the programming period 2007-2013.