To encourage new high speed operators.
The Spanish Ministry of Development presented in March several proposals which are aiming to create a strategy for infrastructure development, maintenance and renewals, which would inform five-year business plans drawn up by ADIF and ADIF Alta Velocidad, including their proposed access charges.
Development Minister Ana Pastor has presented the cabinet with proposals for a package of rail legislation that the government intends to bring to parliament following 'extensive' public hearings involving the rail sector.
As well as transposing European Directive 2012/34, the legislation aims to encourage new high speed operators so that passengers can enjoy 'more services at more competitive prices', according to Pastor.
The ministry would then sign agreements with the infrastructure managers for the conventional and high speed networks, setting out their targets and the government funding to be made available.
According to the ministry, the existing track access charging regime is 'complex' and does not encourage new services.
In addition to state operator RENFE, there are at present 27 companies holding railway operating licences in Spain, comprising five passenger operators, 13 freight operators and nine licensed for both.
The new law also makes provision for the creation of a new railway safety agency, which will have its own sources of funding to ensure its independence from infrastructure managers, operators or funding authorities.
Source: Spanish Ministry of Development
Spanish AVE train of company Renfe between Tarragona and Madrid. (Wikipedia_