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Title: Renfe  
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"Spanish Train" redirects here. For the Chris de Burgh song, see Spanish Train and Other Stories.

Renfe Operadora
Industry Rail transport
Founded 2005
Headquarters Madrid, Spain
Key people Teófilo Serrano Beltrán,
Enrique Urkijo Goitia,
Manuel Acero Valbuena,
José Luis Marroquín
Products Rail transport, Cargo
Revenue Increase 1.108 billion (2011)[1]
Operating income Increase -19.7 million (2011)[2]
Owner(s) Government of Spain (100%)
Employees 14,338 (2007)[3]
Subsidiaries Renfe Mercancías
Locale Spain
Dates of operation 24 January 1941 (1941-01-24)–31 December 2004 (2004-12-31)

Renfe Operadora (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈrenfe opeɾaˈðoɾa]) is the state-owned company which operates freight and passenger trains on the 1668-mm "Iberian gauge", 1435-mm "European gauge" and 1000-mm "Metre Gauge" networks of the Spanish national railway infrastructure company ADIF (Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias).


The name "Renfe" is derived from that of the former Spanish National Railway Network, RENFE (acronym of Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles) created on 24 January 1941 with the nationalisation of Spain's railways. As per EU Directive 91/440, RENFE was divided into Renfe-Operadora (operations) and ADIF (infrastructure) on 1 January 2005. At the same time, the existing RENFE double-arrowed logo (nicknamed the "galleta", Spanish for biscuit), first introduced in 1971 and given a facelift in 1983, with a sans-serif font, and again in 2000, with a mixed-case italic font, has been replaced by a dark purple lower-case wordmark designed by Interbrand, and also replaces some of the separate logos used by the other sectors, although the old RENFE logo remains in use in some stations in Spain and on maps to indicate an ADIF station.

The Railway Sector Act of 2003 separated the management, maintenance and construction of rail infrastructure from train operation. The first activity is now the responsibility of Administrador de Infrestructuras Ferroviarias (ADIF), the legal successor of RENFE, while the newly created Renfe-Operadora (commercial name "Renfe Operadora" or simply "Renfe") owns the rolling-stock and remains responsible for the planning, marketing and operation of passenger and freight services (though no longer with a legal monopoly).

Renfe Operadora inherited the management model of the business units of the old RENFE, which made Renfe Operadora responsible for the operation of the following passenger and freight services. In January 2006, Renfe Operadora restructured the main business units into four:

  • Dirección General de Servicios Públicos de Cercanías y Media Distancia: responsible for commuter services (Cercanías), medium-distance high-speed rail AVE services and medium-range regional services (Regionales and Media Distancia). However, control of some Cercanías services are transferred to Spain's Autonomous communities.
  • Dirección General de Servicios de Larga Distancia: responsible for long-distance intercity and high-speed rail services (except medium-distance AVE services and Media Distancia, which is managed by the above business unit).
  • Dirección General de Servicios de Mercancías y Logística: responsible for freight services.
  • Dirección General de Fabricación y Mantenimiento: responsible for rolling stock maintenance and manufacture (also known as Integria)

The Spanish State railways are currently engaged in a major transformation and modernisation process to keep up with the liberalisation of railway transport elsewhere in Europe. Key to this effort is a major overhaul of their dated ICT (information and communication technology) systems through an ICT renewal project scheduled for completion at the end of 2010 under the responsibility of Corporate Director of Information Systems Óscar Gómez Barbero. So far, the company has introduced improvements to their internet ticket sales and adopted new ICT management practices within a "more industrial" organisational model, though Mr Gomez has publicly acknowledged the difficulties in transforming what still remains a very hierarchical organisation.


In June 2013, Renfe's board agreed to restructure the organisation into four separate companies, responsible for:

  • Operating passenger trains;
  • Freight;
  • Rolling stock maintenance;
  • Train leasing

These four would be underneath a single holding company.[4][5]


The company operates some 15,000 km of railways, 7,000 km of them electrified. Most of which are constructed to the broad "Iberian" gauge of 1668 mm, the same as that used in Portugal but wider than the gauge of 1435 mm which is standard in France and most of western and central Europe. The newer high-speed (AVE) network has been built to the international standard gauge of 1435 mm in anticipation of its eventual connection to the rest of the European railway system. For this reason, the 1435-mm gauge is generally termed "European gauge" in Spain.

The Spanish high-speed system is called AVE. (Alta Velocidad Española, Spanish High Speed). The logo incorporates a feature which resembles a bird (ave in Spanish). The high-speed lines are built to the standard European gauge (1435 mm).

Construction of the high-speed rail line between Madrid and Seville began in 1988 and operation commenced in 1991. Train speed on the Seville line is 300 km/h. The second high-speed rail line (Madrid to Barcelona) was completed in 2007 with the inaugural service commencing at 06:00 on 20 February 2008. The operational speed on this route is 350 km/h. The greater part of the line (Madrid to Lleida) was placed into service on 11 October 2003, with connection to Huesca from Zaragoza. The third high-speed line (Madrid to Toledo) was opened in November 2005, followed by the spur from Córdoba to Málaga as far as Antequera in 2007. Another high-speed route from Madrid to Valladolid was opened in 2007, the line from Madrid to Valencia was opened in 2010 and the first stage of the high-speed line in Galicia opened in 2011. A line to Lisbon is being designed.

Other lines operated by Renfe include Euromed, a moderate-speed line between Barcelona and Valencia.

In addition to intercity transport, Renfe operates commuter train systems, known as Cercanías (or Rodalies in Catalonia and Cercanías-Aldirikoak in the Basque Country), in eleven metropolitan areas, including Madrid and Barcelona. In some cities, Renfe shares the market with other commuter railway operators, such as FGC in Barcelona.

Passenger rolling stock

Renfe Operadora utilises the following rolling stock and commercial products inside of its two divisions:

D.G.S.P. Cercanías y Media Distancia


Rolling stock City Image
RENFE Class 442 Madrid LINEA C-9
RENFE Class 446 Bilbao
San Sebastián
RENFE Class 447 Barcelona
RENFE Class 450/451 Barcelona
Civia Asturias
RENFE Class 592 Valencia
Murcia Alicante

Media Distancia:

Rolling stock route Image
RENFE Class 448 EMU Catalunya
RENFE Class 592 DMU (to be phased out) Madrid <> Cuenca <> Valencia
Madrid <> Talavera
Lleida <> La Pobla
RENFE Class 594 DMU Valladolid <> Zamora <> Puebla de Sanabria
Coruña <> Ferrol
Coruña <> Lugo <> Monforte de Lemos
Madrid <> Soria
RENFE Class 440/470 EMU (to be phased out) Córdoba <> Rabanales
León <> Ponferrada <> Vigo(With 449)
León <> Gijón
Valladolid <> Santander
Valladolid <> Ávila
Valladolid <> León
RENFE Class 596 DMU Lleida <> La Pobla de Segur
Murcia <> Cartagena
Orense <> Monforte de Lemos
Zaragoza <> Canfranc
RENFE Class 598 DMU Madrid <> Badajoz
Huelva <> Zafra
Sevilla <> Mérida
RENFE Class 599 DMU A Coruña <> Vigo
Salamanca <> Ávila <> Madrid
Zaragoza <> Salamanca
Salamanca <> Palencia
Valencia <> Cartagena
Huesca <> Valencia
Sevilla <> Málaga
Sevilla <> Almería
Granada <> Algeciras
Málaga <> Ronda
RENFE Class 449 EMU Madrid <> Jaén
León <> Ponferrada <> Orense <> Vigo
Sevilla <> Cádiz
Barcelona <> Girona <> Figueres
Huelva <> Sevilla
Jaén <> Córdoba <> Sevilla <> Cadiz
Albacete <> Alcazar de San juan <> Madrid
Alicante <> Albacete <> Ciudad Real
Ciudad Real <> Alcazar de San juan <> Madrid
León <> Madrid
Madrid <> Vitoria
Vitoria <> Irun
Cordoba <> Bobadilla
RENFE Class 104 (High speed midway) Madrid <> Toledo
Madrid <> Ciudad Real
Sevilla <> Córdoba
Barcelona <> Camp De Tarragona
Zaragoza <> Calatayud
RENFE Class 121 (High speed midway) Cádiz<>Jaén
La Coruña<>Santiago de Compostela
RENFE Class 114 (High speed midway) Madrid <> Segovia-Guiomar

D.G.S.P. Larga Distancia

Grandes Líneas services and Largo recorrido
Service Rolling stock Route(s) Image
Conventional RENFE traditional services, with conventional rolling stock
Diurno Locomotive + Passenger cars Basque Country <> Galicia / Salamanca
Estrella Locomotive + sleeper cars Atlántico
Costa Brava
Pío Baroja
With the disappearance of steam and the generalization of electric trains and diesel, some have improved their rolling stock whilst others retain the original rolling stock for the service.
Alaris RENFE Class 490 Madrid <> Valencia
Madrid <> Castellón
Madrid <> Gandía
Madrid <> Oropesa de Mar
Barcelona <> Valencia
Barcelona <> Alicante
Altaria Locomotive + Talgo cars IV/VI/VII Madrid <> Algeciras
Madrid <> Granada
Madrid <> Cartagena
Madrid <> Murcia
Alvia RENFE Class 120 Madrid <> Pamplona
Madrid <> Logroño
Madrid <> Hendaya
Madrid <> Irún
Barcelona <> Vigo
RENFE Class 130 Madrid <> Gijon
Madrid <> Santander
Madrid <> Bilbao
Madrid <> Hendaya
Alicante <> Gijon
Alicante <> Santander

Madrid <> Alicante
Madrid <> Cádiz
Madrid <> Huelva
Madrid <> Leon

RENFE Class 730 Madrid <> Ferrol (2012)

Madrid <> Galicia (2012)
Madrid <> Cartagena (2012)
Madrid <> Murcia (2012)

Arco Locomotive + conventional passenger cars refitted for 200 km/h operation García Lorca Barcelona <> Extremadura/Andalucía
AVE RENFE Class 100 Madrid-Puerta de Atocha <> Sevilla-Santa Justa
RENFE Class 102 Madrid-Puerta de Atocha <> Huesca
Madrid-Puerta de Atocha <> Zaragoza-Delicias
Estación de Madrid-Chamartín <> Valladolid-Campo Grande
Madrid-Puerta de Atocha <> Málaga-Mª Zambrano
RENFE Class 103 Madrid-Puerta de Atocha <> Barcelona-Sants
RENFE Class 112 Madrid-Puerta de Atocha <> Cuenca <> Valencia
Madrid-Puerta de Atocha <> Cuenca <> Albacete
Barcelona-Sants <> Málaga-Mª Zambrano
Barcelona-Sants <> Zaragoza-Delicias
Barcelona-Sants <> Sevilla-Santa Justa
Euromed RENFE Class 130 Barcelona <> Valencia <> Alicante
Intercity RENFE Class 448 Madrid-Chamartín <> Hendaya
Talgo Locomotive + Talgo cars IV/VI/VII Catalán Talgo Barcelona <> Montpellier
Covadonga/Finisterre Barcelona <> Galicia/Gijón
Mare Nostrum Cartagena <> Montpellier
Miguel de Unamuno Barcelona <> País Vasco/Salamanca
Barcelona <> Lorca
Barcelona <> Murcia
Madrid <> Galicia
Alicante <> Galicia
Madrid <> Almería
Madrid <> Badajoz
Madrid <> Bilbao
Trenhotel Locomotive + Talgo cars and sleeper cars Antonio Machado
Francisco de Goya
Joan Miró
Pau Casals
Rías Gallegas
Salvador Dalí

Meaning of first number of class

All classes are designed by three numbers. The first number has a special meaning:

  • 1xx: High speed multiple unit
  • 2xx: Electric locomotive
  • 3xx: Diesel locomotive
  • 4xx: Electric multiple unit (EMU)
  • 5xx: Diesel multiple unit (DMU)
  • 6xx: Hybrid locomotive
  • 7xx: Hybrid multiple unit (HMU)
  • 8xx: Street trams which can run on railways.

See also


  • RENFE Corporate Director of Information Systems Oscar Gomez Barbero speaks of Renfe´s Transformation at ESADE Business School in Madrid.
  • Federación Castellano Manchega de Amigos del Ferrocarril

External links

  • Renfe's official website
  • Eurail Passes for Spain

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