CZ/SK verze

"Our High-Speed Lines Were Built Cheaper Than in China," Spain's Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility Proclaims in Prague

&quote;Our High-Speed Lines Were Built Cheaper Than in China,&quote; Spain's Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility Proclaims in Prague
photo: Adif AV / Public domain/Adif
21 / 05 / 2024

Today in Prague, at the Czech Republic-Spain Railways Business Forum, key stakeholders from the Czech and Spanish railway sectors convene to discuss future collaborations and share technological advancements.

The forum, hosted by the Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic, ICEX, and the Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of Spain, aims to promote the exchange of ideas and foster cooperative projects between the two countries. The focus of this year’s discussions is on enhancing the Czech Republic’s extensive railway network, which ranks among the densest in the world, and on learning from Spain’s experience in developing a cost-effective high-speed railway network.

In his keynote address, Óscar Puente, Spain's Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility, emphasized the mutual commitment to achieving European railway interoperability. Minister Puente expressed satisfaction with the Czech Republic's progress and its prioritization of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS).

“The state of the Czech Republic also agrees on the importance that must be given to the definitive achievement of railway interoperability in the European Union. In this regard, I'm very pleased with them; the deployment of ERTMS is the priority for the Czech Republic,” said Puente.

He highlighted the liberalization of Spain's railway sector as a model for Europe, noting the competitive edge it has brought to the country's rail services. “We are also actively fostering liberalization policies. Spain has become a great example of the introduction of competition in rail with three different operators in the same high-speed corridor, and we are continuing with this policy by addressing the second phase of rail liberalization on the passenger market.”

Minister Puente also acknowledged challenges faced by smaller operators, underscored the importance of the forum as a platform to address these issues, and expressed a strong desire to extend Spanish expertise to the Czech rail projects, particularly in the high-speed rail sector, where Spanish companies are keen to participate. “I'd like to offer Spanish know-how to the Czech Republic. Many Spanish companies have an interest in participating in the HSR projects in the Czech Republic. I hope today will be a milestone in the collaboration of the Czech Republic and Spain in the railway field,” Puente added.

The forum will continue with further interventions from other distinguished speakers from both Czech and Spanish institutions. Scheduled activities include a networking lunch and B2B meetings aimed at deepening the dialogue and forging new partnerships.