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TypeEntidad pública empresarial [es]
IndustryRail transport
Founded1 January 2005
Key people
Julio Gómez-Pomar Rodríguez (CEO),
Enrique Peña Pérez,
Manuel Fresno Castro,
José Luis Marroquín
ProductsRail transport, Freight
RevenueIncrease €3.979 billion (2018)[1]
Increase €111 million (2018)
OwnerGeneral State Administration (100%)
Number of employees
Decrease 13,720 (2018)[2]
SubsidiariesRenfe Cercancías
Renfe logo used from 1972 until 1989.
Renfe logo used from 2000 until 2005.
AVE Class 100 train at Córdoba station.
Trains at Santa Justa station Seville.

Renfe-Operadora (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈreɱfe opeɾaˈðoɾa]; from the Spanish acronym Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles - Spanish National Railway Network) is the state-owned company which operates freight and passenger trains on the 1,668 mm (5 ft 5+2132 in) Iberian gauge, the 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge and the 1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in) metre gauge Spanish railway networks.

It was created in 2005 upon the split of the old Renfe national company into ADIF (which inherited the infrastructure) and Renfe-Operadora (which inherited the rolling stock). It enjoyed a monopoly on high-speed rail services in Spain until 2021.


As stated previously, the name "Renfe" is derived from that of the former Spanish National Railway Network, Renfe (acronym of Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles—Renfe" is derived from that of the former Spanish National Railway Network, Renfe (acronym of Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoless) 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in 1971 and given a facelift in 1983, with a sans-serif font, and again in 2000, with a mixed-case italic font, has been replaced by a dark purple lower-case wordmark designed by Interbrand, and also replaces some of the separate logos used by the other sectors, although the old Renfe logo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, 2003 separated the management, maintenance and construction of rail infrastructure from train operation. The first activity is now the responsibility of Administrador de Infraestructuras 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).[3]

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 (General Public Utilities Directorate for Suburban and Medium Distance): responsible for commuter services (Cercanías), medium-distance high-speed rail AVE services and medium-range regional services (es:Regionales and es:Media Distancia). However, control of some Cercanías services were transferred to Spain's Autonomous communities.
  • Dirección General de Servicios de Larga Distancia (General Directorate of Long Distance Services): 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 (General Directorate for Freight and Logistics Services): responsible for freight services.
  • Dirección General de Fabricación y Mantenimiento (General Directorate of Manufacturing and Maintenance): responsible for rolling stock maintenance and manufacture (also known as Integria)

The Spanish state railways are currently engaged in a transformation and modernisation project.[citation needed] Key to this effort is a major overhaul of their out-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]


Figures[6] 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Passengers (Mio.)[7] 527.975 517.583 510.176 476.334 463.012 476.917 472.145 466.057 464.961 465.201 471.359 487.881 507.088 510.453
Passenger-kilometer (Mio.) 20.480 20.167 22.281 21.895 21.166 21.585 21.319 22.563 23.754 24.825 25.291 26.060 26.931 27.263
AVE Passengers (Tsd.) 4.878 5.559 11.461 11.250 10.851 12.563 12.101 14.697 17.967 19.428 20.352 21.108 21.332 22.370
AVE Passenger-kilometer (Tsd.) 1.884 2.161 4.888 5.260 5.171 5.846 5.793 7.095 8.038 9.230 9.632 10.267 10.289 10.760


Map of the Spanish rail network in 2019, with colour-coded track types. Renfe Operadora operates on broad (red) and standard (black) gauge lines.
A Renfe train ticket

The company operates some 12,000 km (7,500 mi) of railways, 7,000 km (4,300 mi) of them electrified. Most of the tracks are constructed to the broad "Iberian gauge" of 1,668 mm (5 ft 5+2132 in), the same as that used in Portugal but wider than the international gauge of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) which is standard in neighbouring France, most of western and central Europe, and most of the rest of the world. The newer high-speed (AVE) network has been built to the international standard gauge of 1,435 mm for the connection to the rest of the European railway system. For this reason, the 1,435 mm gauge is generally termed "European gauge" in Spain.

The Spanish high-speed system is called AVE (Alta Velocidad Española, meaning "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 (1,435 mm or 4 ft 8+12 in).

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 (190 mph). 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 (220 mph). 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 Alicante.

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[edit]

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

Suburban and Medium Distance (DGSPCMD)[edit]

Cercanías (commuter rail)[edit]

Rolling stock Metropolitan area Image
Renfe Class 442 EMU Madrid Cercanias-madrid-c9-line-train-cotos.jpg
Renfe Class 446 EMU Bilbao
Hugh llewelyn 180 (5553135644).jpg
Renfe Class 447 EMU Barcelona
San Sebastián
447 en Vilajuiga.jpg
Renfe Class 450 EMU Barcelona
Tren de la serie 450.jpg
Civia EMU Asturias
Mollet - 2011-07-13 4 - JTCurses.jpg
Renfe Class 592 DMU Valencia
RENFE 592 - Valencia-Sant Isidre - 2014-08-13.jpg
Zamora train station
Toledo station
Atocha station, Madrid
Estació del Nord, Valencia

Medium Distance[edit]

Rolling stock Route(s) Image
Renfe Class 440/470 EMU (to be phased out) Córdoba – Rabanales
León – Ponferrada – Vigo
León – Gijón
Valladolid – Santander
Valladolid – Ávila
Valladolid – León
Valencia − Barcelona
Valencia − Alicante
RENFE 470 - Valencia Nord - 2014-07-29.jpg
Renfe Class 447 EMU Barcelona 447 en Vilajuiga.jpg
Renfe Class 448 EMU Catalunya
Barcelona-EF - 2014-01-31 2 - JTCurses.jpg
Renfe Class 449 EMU Madrid – Jaén
León – Ponferrada – Orense – Vigo
Sevilla – Cádiz
Barcelona – Girona – Figueres – Portbou
Huelva – Sevilla
Jaén – Córdoba – Sevilla – Cadiz
Madrid − Alcázar de San Juan − Albacete
Madrid − Alcázar de San Juan − Ciudad Real
Alicante – Albacete – Ciudad Real
Madrid − León
Madrid – Vitoria
Vitoria – Irun
Córdoba – Bobadilla
Barcelona – Reus
Barcelona – Tortosa
449 Madrid-Vitoria.jpg
Renfe Class 592 DMU (to be phased out) Madrid – Cuenca – Valencia
Madrid – Talavera
Murcia – Cartagena
Valencia − Alcoi
Oporto - Vigo (Service CP)
J23 435 Bf Lorca Sutullena, 592 xxx.jpg
Renfe Class 594 DMU Valladolid – Zamora – Puebla de Sanabria
A Coruña – Ferrol
A Coruña – Lugo – Monforte de Lemos - Ourense
Madrid – Soria
Murcia – Cartagena
Renfe Class 594 reformado.JPG
Renfe Class 596 DMU Murcia – Cartagena
Orense – Monforte de Lemos
Zaragoza – Canfranc
Vigo - Valença
J21 032 Bf Sabiñánigo, 596 019.jpg
Renfe Class 598 DMU Cáceres – Valencia de Alcántara
Sevilla – Cáceres - Madrid
Renfe Class 599 DMU Madrid – Badajoz
Huelva – Zafra
A Coruña – Vigo Guixar
Salamanca – Ávila – Madrid
Zaragoza – Salamanca
Salamanca – Palencia
Valencia – Cartagena
Zaragoza – Valencia
Zaragoza – Cartagena
Sevilla – Málaga
Sevilla – Almería
Granada – Algeciras
Málaga – Ronda
Granada – Linares
Madrid − Águilas
599 aparcado en apartadero de Valladolid.jpg
Renfe Class 104 EMU (High-speed) Madrid – Toledo
Madrid – Ciudad Real
Sevilla – Córdoba
Barcelona – Camp De Tarragona
Zaragoza – Calatayud
S1860a Bf Córdoba, 9 104 905.jpg
Renfe Class 114 EMU (High-speed) Madrid – Valladolid
Barcelona – Lleida
Serie 114 de Renfe en Valladolid-Campo Grande.jpg
Renfe Class 121 EMU (High-speed) Cádiz – Jaén
A Coruña – Ourense
A Coruña – Vigo Urzaiz
Madrid – Ponferrada
Madrid – Gandia
RN 120-6051.JPG

Long Distance (DGSLD)[edit]

Main Line and long-distance services
Service Rolling stock Route(s) Image
Altaria Renfe Class 334 locomotive
+ Talgo IV cars
Madrid – Algeciras
Madrid – Granada
Madrid – Murcia – Cartagena
Altaria a Cartagena.jpg
Talgo Renfe Class 252/334 locomotive
+ Talgo VI cars
Madrid – Almería
Barcelona – Murcia – Cartagena/Lorca
Torre del Oro:
Barcelona – Valencia – Sevilla
Madrid – Cáceres – Badajoz
252061 Renfe Talgo - Ulldecona - 2013-01-03 Andres Gomez.jpg
Intercity (Talgo) Renfe Class 252 locomotive
+ Talgo VI cars
Madrid – Valencia Talgo Mar Nostrum por Figueras.jpg
Intercity (Arco) Renfe Class 334/252 locomotive
and Series 2000 cars (Arco)
A Coruña - Hendaye
Vigo - Bilbao
Trenhotel (sleeper service) Renfe Class 252/334 locomotive
+ Talgo sleeper cars
Barcelona – A Coruña
Barcelona – Vigo
Rías Gallegas:
Madrid – Pontevedra
Madrid – A Coruña - Ferrol
Madrid – Lisbon[1]
Hendaye – Lisbon[2]
Trenhotel entrando na estación de Guillarei 03-2016.jpg
High-speed long-distance services
Service Rolling stock Route(s) Image
AVE Renfe Class 100 EMU Madrid – Sevilla
Madrid – Alicante
Madrid – Marseille[3]
Barcelona – Toulouse[4]
Barcelona – Lyon[5]
AVE en Sevilla, en la estación de Santa Justa, tren Serie 100 de Renfe.JPG
Renfe Class 102 EMU Madrid – Huesca
Madrid – Zaragoza
Madrid – Valladolid
Madrid – Málaga
Valencia – Sevilla
Renfe Class 103 EMU Madrid – Barcelona
Madrid – Málaga
Renfe Class 112 EMU Madrid – Cuenca – Valencia
Madrid – Cuenca – Albacete
Madrid – León
Barcelona – Málaga
Barcelona – Zaragoza
Barcelona – Sevilla
Tren AVE, en la estación de Valencia, España, Serie 112 de Renfe.JPG
(mixed high-speed &
conventional service)
Renfe Class 120/121 EMU Madrid – Pamplona
Madrid – Logroño
Madrid – Irún/Hendaya
Madrid – Bilbao
Barcelona – Irún
Barcelona – Bilbao
Barcelona – Pamplona
Barcelona – Valladolid
RN 120-6051.JPG
Renfe Class 130 EMU Madrid – Gijón
Madrid – Santander
Alicante – Gijón
Alicante – Santander
Madrid – Cádiz
Madrid – Huelva
Madrid – Valencia – Castellón
Madrid – Valencia – Gandía
Barcelona – A Coruña
Barcelona – Vigo
Barcelona – Gijón
Renfe clase 130.JPG
Renfe Class 730 HMU Alicante – Madrid – Pontevedra
Alicante – Madrid – A Coruña
Madrid – Ferrol
Madrid – Pontevedra
Madrid – Ponferrada
Serie 730 de Renfe - 1.jpg
(medium-high-speed service)
Renfe Class 130 EMU Barcelona – Valencia – Alicante 130-07 en el Cambiador de Valdestillas.jpg

Class numbers[edit]

All classes are designated by three numbers. The first digit has a special meaning:

See also[edit]


1.^ Operated by CP in Portugal.
2.^ Managed by Elipsos under the brand Renfe-SNCF en Cooperación/en Coopération.


  1. ^ "Renfe cerró 2018 con un beneficio de 111 millones de euros" [Renfe closed 2018 with a profit of 111 million euros]. Rail Press News (in Spanish). 7 April 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  2. ^ "Renfe presenta otro plan de bajas voluntarias para 2018 de hasta 805 trabajadores" [Renfe presents another voluntary leave plan for 2018 of up to 805 workers]. ABC (in European Spanish). Madrid. 20 January 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  3. ^ "La Nueva Renfe" [The New Renfe]. Federación Castellano Manchega de Amigos del Ferrocarril (in Spanish). 11 January 2005.
  4. ^ "RENFE restructuring approved". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  5. ^ Puente, Fernando. "Renfe confirms four subsidiary split". International Railway Journal. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Railway Gazette". Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  7. ^ Railway Gazette. "Railway Gazette".

External links[edit]