VIIA, a division of SNCF, has recently signed an agreement with the Territory and Sustainable Development Department within Generalitat de Catalunya, through Cimalsa, Catalunya’s logistics centre, to develop the railway terminal in the Port of Barcelona.
The Government of Catalonia committed to build the first railway terminal in Catalonia which is good news for cargo transport.
Concretely, the collaboration agreement signed between VIIA and the authorities in Catalonia will enable the development of the railway terminal in the port area of Barcelona, located on the former bed of Llobregat River with a capacity of eight trains a day and opened to all interested operators. This railway transport offer is a real alternative to road freight transport and connects Catalonia to France and further to the countries in Central and Northern Europe.
Among others, this terminal has several social, economic and environmental advantages, such as reducing road traffic, accompanied by the progressive reduction of polluting gas emissions and the optimisation of transport and logistics systems.
Environmentally friendly transport
The ceremony for the signing of the agreement by VIIA President, Thierry Le Guilloux, and that of Cimalsa (a public company of Generalitat in charge with planning infrastructure projects), Enric Ticó, Damià Calvet, a councillor of the Territory and Sustainable Development Department. She underlined the economic and environment values of the project and confirmed that “all methods available to Generalitat will be used to progress with the mobility decarbonisation process so that we could reach the zero-emission target in 2050”.
For Thierry Le Guilloux, the signing of the project is an excellent piece of news for multimodal transport and railway highways. “It opens the path of an innovative and environmentally friendly mode of transport”, said VIIA President.
According to several studies, it is possible to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80,000 tonnes a year. “For the Government, it is very important to move forward with a project that is capable to give a boost to the economy and to create jobs in parallel with everything that the decarbonisation of mobility means in order to cope with climate change”, added Damià Calvet.
The Port of Barcelona has a vast railway network
The Port of Barcelona has a vast railway network and all docks have a railway access. There are Iberian-gauge railways (1,668 m), metre-gauge railways or mixed-gauge railways.
Of the 29 km which is the length of the railway network in the Port of Barcelona, 9.05 km are Iberian-gauge railways (also used in India and Chile), 4.543 km of metre-gauge, 5 km of mixed Iberian-metre gauge, 8 km of mixed Iberian/international gauge and 2.25 km of mixed Spanish/European/metre gauge. The rest of the railways consists of port departure and arrival railways.
Spanish railway operator RENFE is answering to a varied demand: containers, general non-containerised freight, solid and liquid bulk freight. In turn, Generalitat’s Catalan railway operator Ferrocarrils carries potassium loaded in Barcelona from Contradique dock.
The South Dock has a railway terminal dedicated to the loading and unloading of containers. Príncipe de España dock is equipped with a polyvalent public railway terminal, mostly dedicated to automotive vehicles, iron and steel products and containers.