Adif unveils high-speed liberalisation plan

Adif, the Spanish railway infrastructure manager, submitted to the National Commission on Markets and Competition (CNMC) and to railway companies a Draft Amendment to the Network 2019 containing the aspects that will govern the liberalisation of commercial passenger services in the railway network of general interest (RFIG).
Under the RFIG, the parties propose the creation of three high-speed railway packages as a result of the market liberalisation based on the 4th Railway Package.
The framework agreements will represent the three packages (A, B and C) which will guarantee the access to the railway network for 10-year periods. At least three railway companies can optimally operate, which will mean that Spain will start to implement the 4th Railway Package.
The proposal sent to CNMC stipulates that the first HSR package will be similar to Renfe’s offer, the second will offer 30% of the services and the third package will be based on a low-cost concept. According to Adif, the packages will enter into force starting December 14, 2020, covering 70% of the network capacity. The remaining 30% will be allocated on a yearly basis.

The packages are structured on three axes:

1. Madrid-Barcelona-French border and Valencia-Barcelona
2. Madrid-Levante (Valencia and Alicante)
3. Madrid-Toledo-Sevilla-Málaga
Adif says that the plan will see a 60% increase of high-speed network capacity by increasing the number of the currently daily services from 119 to 189. To achieve this target, Adif is preparing a more efficient railway exploitation system than the current one, which will produce an improvement in the operation of both the infrastructure manager and the railway companies, thus achieving a greater and more competitive offer of railway services to society.

The details for each axis:
On axis 1, package A comprises 48 daily services with three trains per hour and direction; package B envisages 16 services with one train per hour per direction and package C comprises 5 services with one train every three hours in each direction. In total, the number of daily services will increase from currently 43 services to 69, which represents a 60% increase.
On axis 2, package A comprises 32 daily services with two trains per hour per direction, package B comprises 16 services with one train per hour per direction and package C comprises 4 services, with four trains per day and direction. This scheme will increase the daily services from currently 37 services to 52. This represents a 40% increase.
On axis 3, package A comprises 48 daily services with three trains per hour per direction, package B comprises 16 services with one train per hour and direction and package C will see 4 services with four trains per day in each direction. Overall, the number of services will increase by 70%, from 39 to 68 services.
According to Adif, the framework agreements may be abandoned if the capacity requests do not exceed 65% of the offered capacity, which would result in a necessary coordination between candidates or the proposal of a new framework capacity offer.
The Network Statement proposes new concepts of the capacity allocation model in the new liberalised scenario, such as specialised lines, coordinated stations and congested facilities. With the market opening, 6 stations will be considered congested facilities. The objective of this measure is to apply priority criteria in the awarding process and, in addition, to develop capacity expansion measures.
The specialised lines are those requiring a process to optimise their capacity according to the features for which they were built. Two basic criteria have been established to declare specialised lines: the first one is that they allow traffic for routes greater than 380 km and, the second, that trains circulate at maximum speeds of 300 km/h or higher. Adif says that the specialised line declaration does not exclude other types of traffic.

The specialised lines included in the Network Statement are:
• Madrid-Sevilla
• Málaga-Málaga bifurcation
• Torrejón de Velasco-Valencia bifurcation
• Albacete-Alicante bifurcation
• Madrid-Barcelona-Límite Adif/Línea Figueres-Perpignan
• Madrid-Valladolid- Venta de Baños bifurcation

After the mandatory period of allegations, Adif will proceed to the publication of the final edition of the Network Statement on July 1. Until July 31, the companies will be able to submit their capacity requests according to the framework agreement and the requests will be announced on October 31.

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