Every year, 560 million passengers in Spain use the lines of the Cercanías railway service for their most common trips. A joint transport option that now opens up to new service and organization challenges. Beyond the current Covid-19 crisis, the national network is preparing for the most important renewal of its proximity fleet in decades. The next award for the purchase of high-capacity trains (for at least 900 people), made up of 211 state-of-the-art railways and a total investment of 2,700 million in the next 15 years, represents a clear commitment from the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda for rejuvenating its current fleet.
An action that also promotes a strategy focused on the fight against climate change, betting on sustainable, safe, and connected mobility according to the new challenges proposed in the European Union until the year 2050. By that date, and within the European Green Pact (Green Deal) program, it is intended to reduce emissions associated with transport by 90%. A program in which the railway service is reinforced compared to other mobility options. According to the European Environment Agency, rail transport accounted for 0.5% of emissions in 2017 compared to 71.7% for road mobility, 13.9% for aircraft, and 13% for maritime transport. A task that wants to turn Europe into the first climate-neutral continent.
But what will the new passenger trains look like? The main manufacturers of locomotives and trains are committed to technological innovation in the configuration of each unit. Its renewed exterior image, its accessibility, the ride comfort, and the safety of the next models show progress towards perfection in this industrial sector without giving up certain touches of craftsmanship also in its manufacture. Onboard, travelers will have new spaces for greater integration with other modes of individual transport such as bicycles and scooters. There will also be specific areas for pushchairs and accesses with special measures for people with reduced mobility. Open Wi-Fi service is also incorporated.
In the field of security, the next generation of trains stands out for its advances in cybersecurity or video surveillance, the train-ground signaling system, as well as predictive maintenance solutions based on the real state of the equipment. Following in the wake of intermodal mobility solutions and supported by the intelligent use of information technologies and connectivity with mobile devices, in the coming years it will be easier to control the occupancy levels of trains on each route and the capacity of the stations themselves, especially at peak times. The final objective of this great project focuses on making this mode of transport more attractive by improving the travel experience and the quality of the service, with maximum security, including technologies that hinder the spread of viruses, and also on financial sustainability by minimizing costs. maintenance costs.
Work that allows less pollution to be emitted when traveling on each line, both in urban and interurban spaces, further reducing the low accident rates, which currently has the railway service, and at the same time making possible a demographic development with the maximum respect for the environment that allows the integration of territories and social cohesion. The European Council has designated the next 2021 as the European Year of Railways. Perhaps a good season entry will be the premiere of a generation of trains in service within the state public network