The Spanish government plans to invest in the next four years EUR 1.26 bn in improving the suburban railway system, both infrastructure and rolling stock. It is the most important investment made in commuter rail transport since the launch of the service 20 years ago.
According to Development Minister Ana Pastor, of the total amount ADIF is to contribute with EUR 1000.4 million and Renfe with EUR 257.3 million. Pastor also stated that the implementation of the commuter rail plan (Plan de Cercanías) is expected to increase Renfe’s passengers number with 22 million, in three years.
The plan includes the elimination of level crossings, modernization of trains and new and more efficient payment systems. Investment will focus on the track, signalling and communication systems, electrification, energy efficiency, new stations, customer support.
Railways stations will also be modernised, their accessibility being a priority. In addition, the plan includes the introduction of WiFi service in stations, and the development of mobile applications that will provide access to timetable information, real-time trains status and ticket purchasing. In June, the first two station to have WiFi will be Plaça de Catalunya (Barcelona) and Getafe (Madrid).