AS WELL AS separating infrastructure authority ADIF from train operator Renfe Operadora with effect from January 1, three decrees approved by the cabinet on December 30 transposed EU directives 2001/12, 13 and 14 into Spanish law.

Since January 1 routes within Spain forming part of the Trans-European Rail Freight Network have been open to competition, and it is expected that the whole of the national network to be defined by the Ministry of Development will be available to freight operators before January 2006.

Renfe Operadora remains sole passenger operator until at least 2010, although the European Commission’s latest proposals on liberalising passenger services are due to be debated this year. Further legislation will set out conditions for obtaining train paths which are now administered by ADIF. A Railway Regulation Committee will mediate in any disputes, as well as issuing licences and safety certificates to other operators. n