EU backs mediterranean freight railway and spain as european rail gateway

Catalan Economy

22 Oct 2011

The mediterranean freight corridor and atlantic axis will be given priority for european funding as part of the ten major trans-european freight routes.

the main role of the mediterranean corridor is to fully exploit the potential of its ports as key unloading points for asian exports. until now, goods arriving through the suez canal have head up to northern europe, which now accounts for entry of 77% of european imports. once the corridor is up and running, which estimates set at the year 2020, the four key mediterranean ports as defined by the european commission, namely; cartagena, valencia, tarragona and barcelona, would then divert an important chunk of this maritime traffic, saving vessels three to four day’s journey. this would turn spain into the gateway for asian imports to the continent for the entire eu, with the atlantic corridor linking the ports of portugal to france, all the way up to strasburg.

the spanish freight lines as a whole would require an estimated investment of nearly €50 billion to bring them up to the level required for the project, with the lion’s share, nearly €20 billion earmarked for the mediterranean corridor. european funds would pay for 20% of the normal sections, increasing to 30% for transport bottlenecks and 40% on cross border works.

source: el país, 20/10/2011

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