The Iberian Railway Alliance urges the governments of Spain and Portugal to bet on rail
Thursday, 7 July 2022
The Iberian Alliance for the Railway —Alianza Ibérica por el Ferrrocarril, in Spanish— was presented last Monday 4th July in Barcelona.
It is a platform founded by 15 social and environmental organisations, and trade unions from Spain and Portugal that claims rail systems as the core of sustainable mobility policies.
The founding organisations are calling on the Spanish and Portuguese governments to urgently transfer passengers and freight from road to rail in order to curb the climate crisis.
Moreover, the Alliance proposes 10 shock measures to rehabilitate degraded lines such as Cuenca – Utiel, to recover international day and night services and to put an end to the isolation of the Peninsula from the rest of Europe.
It aims to be an active driving force in favour of a new rail policy based on three main axes:
- Achieving the conditions to meet the decarbonisation targets set by the 2030 Agenda, which requires an urgent transfer of passengers and freight to rail.
- Prevent any closure of railway lines. In the midst of a climate emergency, old lines must be renovated, rehabilitated, interconnected, improved and their operation adapted to the peculiarities of each environment.
- Building a common model to overcome railway isolation. Due to the different track gauge, Spain and Portugal have historically constituted a railway island in Europe. Despite the large investments made to implement standard gauge in Spain, this situation has not been reversed, which obliges both countries to work together to improve cross-border connections, an issue on which progress is already being made, and to improve standard gauge connections with the rest of the European continent.