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RENFE AND THE GHOSTS

Escrito el 16 diciembre 2009 por Jesus Guerro en General

The railway sector has nearly two decades undergoing a liberalization process that has still not complete. The challenge was launched in 1991, following an EU directive that established , on one hand, the need to separate, at least for accounting purposes, the operation of railway services and infrastructure management, and secondly, the opening network to international companies, mainly for freight.

tren-renfe

The Spanish Government reacted to the directive to establish this separation by aproving in 2003 the Law of Railway Transport by which the management of infrastructure fell enterely on the Railway Infrastructure Administrator (ADIF).
Moreover, for the provision of rail services was created a new public entity called Renfe-Operator.

Despite this separation, and according to the CNC, the Spanish Domestic Competence Commission, “there is a not enough degree of competition in the sector” adding that Renfe has a “privileged position” that can result in business strategies that could restrict the access of new entrants to the railway transport market. Indeed the activity of foreign rail way frigth companies in Spain have not been further than barely testimonial.
The next step will be the passenger market opening established for 2010. So that, the day after tomorrow.
The model to be implemented is very similar to that we have in the Telecommunications Sector which one dominating operator competing in the market while retaining the infrastructure ownership, hiring its use to visiting competitors. Instead of wire in the sky, now we are talking about iron on the land. Networks, anayway.
So it seems obvious that the CNC is not fully satisfied by the dual structure Renfe Operator/Adif to guarantee fair competitition.
Therefore CNC strongly recommends new mechanisms to be facilitate the ability of new operators to use public resources indispensable to the provision of rail services,” so as not to unnecessarily slow down the liberalization of rail transport, which began in Spain in 2005.
In this sense, is aimed at studying the desirability of opening to competition or rail corridors in the cases where “economically viable” to be provided to other operators access to strategic assets, such as exploitation rights in line in a given time slot.
Anyway the openess of the railway sector is essential to save times and cost on long distance routes while positively contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions. Oponess anf international coordination to standarise processes and procedures which unfortunately collapse nowadays the development of an effcicient and fluent European Railway System. In this terms, Renfe should not concentrate efforts on defending itself from abroad but on analysing how to cooperate to conquere it. Will it be ready to kill its ghosts?

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