SPAIN: Regional operators FGC and EuskoTren are to jointly offer consultancy and operating services for railway and light rail projects in Spain and abroad. Services to be offered will include operations planning, maintenance facility design and the training of maintenance and operating personnel.

The agreement announced on February 22 provides for the creation of an executive board to approve collaboration in specific projects. FGC and EuskoTren staff will be appointed to a general commission meeting every three months to oversee operations. The agreement makes provision for the involvement of third parties 'provided that this will bring additional benefits'.

Catalunya regional operator FGC carries over 80 million passengers a year on its 1 000 mm and 1 435 mm gauge commuter networks serving Barcelona. Freight traffic was up 22% in 2011, and it has recently obtained a safety certificate to operate on the national 1 668 mm gauge network managed by ADIF.

In 2011 EuskoTren carried over 32 million passengers on its 1 000 mm gauge routes in the Basque Country, and a further 10?4 million passengers on light rail services in Bilbao and Vitoria-Gasteiz.