SPAIN: Meeting on December 13, the Spanish cabinet approved legislation to split infrastructure manager ADIF into two companies, one responsible for the 1 435 mm gauge high speed network and the other for the 1 668 mm and 1 000 mm gauge routes used by conventional services.

As well as complying with European Union ESA 2010 accounting regulations that are due to be implemented from September 2014, the creation of a separate high speed business would, according to the Ministry of Development, improve efficiency as the passenger market is opened up to competition and place public funding of railway infrastructure on a sounder footing. Taking on debt relating to the construction of high speed lines, ADIF Alta Velocidad would be responsible for new projects, deriving its funding from access charges and other sources.

As well as access charges paid by train operators for use of the conventional network, ADIF would be funded by government grant classified as public spending under the new accounting rules, 'but without a significant impact' on the government deficit, according to the Ministry of Development.

A single corporate structure is to be maintained, with the ADIF President and Board Secretary holding the same posts at ADIF Alta Velocidad, thereby keeping the total number of directors the same. The legislation also makes provision for ADIF Alta Velocidad to contract out certain activities to ADIF, such as train control, maintenance, security and corporate functions.