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Company typeStatutory corporation
IndustryRail transport
Founded1 January 2005
Key people
Isaías Táboas (CEO),
Enrique Peña Pérez,
Manuel Fresno Castro,
José Luis Marroquín
ProductsRail passenger and freight transport
RevenueIncrease €3.979 billion (2018)[1]
Increase €111 million (2018)
OwnerSpanish government (100%)
Number of employees
Decrease 13,720 (2018)[2]
  • Renfe Viajeros
  • Renfe Mercancías
  • Renfe Fabricación y Mantenimiento
  • Renfe Alquiler de Material Ferroviario
Map of the Spanish rail network in 2019, with colour-coded track types. Renfe Operadora operates on conventional Iberian gauge (red), high speed (blue), and narrow gauge (green) lines.
A Renfe train ticket

Renfe (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈreɱfe], Eastern Catalan: [ˈreɱfə]), officially Renfe-Operadora, is Spain's national state-owned railway company.[3]

It was created in 2005 upon the split of the former Spanish National Railway Network (Renfe) into the Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias (ADIF), which inherited the infrastructure, and Renfe-Operadora, which inherited the railway service.


The name "Renfe" (acronym of Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles) is derived from that of the former Spanish National Railway Network 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 logo (nicknamed the "galleta", Spanish for biscuit), first introduced in 1971, was replaced by a dark purple lower-case wordmark designed by Interbrand. Separate logos used by the other sectors were also replaced, but 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), while the newly created Renfe-Operadora (also known as Grupo Renfe or simply Renfe) owns the rolling stock and remains responsible for the planning, marketing and operation of the passenger and freight services.[4]

Renfe no longer has a monopoly on domestic passenger services due to Ouigo España launching in 2021, followed by Iryo in 2022.[citation needed]


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

  • 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)

In June 2013, Renfe's board agreed to restructure the group into four separate companies under the holding company:[5][6]


Figures[7] 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Passengers (Mio.)[8] 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


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 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.[citation needed]

Construction of a high-speed rail line between Madrid and Seville began in 1988 and began operations in 1991, going 300 km/h (190 mph). The second high-speed rail line (Madrid to Barcelona) was completed in 2007 with the inaugural service commencing 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 entered service on 11 October 2003, with a connection to Huesca from Zaragoza. The third high-speed line (Madrid to Toledo) was opened in November 2005, followed by a spur from Córdoba to Málaga as far as Antequera in 2007. Another high-speed route from Madrid to Valladolid was opened in 2007. A line from Madrid to Valencia was opened in 2010, and the first stage of a high-speed line in Galicia opened in 2011. A line to Lisbon is being designed.[citation needed]

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 2019, Renfe solicited bids for 31 new trains for the Asturias and Cantabria regions and the €258m contract was awarded to the CAF (Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles) in June 2020. Around February 2023, authorities discovered the designs were for the wrong loading gauge and would be too wide for the tunnels.[9] Amidst international embarrassment, Renfe and ADIF each tried to deflect responsibility, and some called for the firing of the executives deemed responsible. Fortunately, the trains were still being designed, however the Cercanía commuter trains will be delayed until 2026.[10][11][9] Subsequently, transport officials including the president of Renfe and the Secretary of State for Transport resigned.[12]

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 AM (Meter Gauge Commuter Services)[edit]

Rolling stock Region(s) Image
Feve Class 2400 DMU Asturias
Feve Class 2600 DMU Asturias
Castile and León
Feve Class 2700 DMU Asturias
Basque Country
Castile and León
Feve Class 2900 DMU Castile and León
Feve Class 3300 EMU Asturias FEVE_3302_(50204068577)
Feve Class 3500 EMU Asturias Perlora_station_1
Feve Class 3600 EMU Asturias
Basque Country
Feve Class 3800 EMU Cantabria Feve_3811_con_nueva_decoración

Cercanías (Commuter Services)[edit]

Rolling stock Metropolitan area(s) Image
Renfe Class 442 EMU Madrid
Renfe Class 446 EMU Bilbao
Renfe Class 447 EMU Barcelona
San Sebastián
Renfe Class 450 EMU Barcelona
Renfe Class 462/463/464/465 EMU Asturias
Renfe Class 592 DMU Valencia

Mainline Medium Distance Services[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 Class 448 EMU Catalunya
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
Irun - Vitoria - Miranda de Ebro
Córdoba – Bobadilla
Barcelona – Reus
Barcelona – Tortosa
Renfe Class 592 DMU (to be phased out) Madrid – Talavera
Murcia – Cartagena
Valencia − Alcoi
Oporto - Vigo (Service CP)
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 598 DMU Cáceres – Valencia de Alcántara
Sevilla – Cáceres - Madrid
Renfe Class 599 DMU Madrid – Badajoz
Huelva – Zafra
A Coruña – Vigo Guixar
Salamanca – Ávila – Madrid
Salamanca – Palencia
Valencia – Cartagena
Zaragoza – Valencia
Zaragoza – Cartagena
Sevilla – Málaga
Sevilla – Almería
Granada – Algeciras
Málaga – Ronda
Granada – Linares
Madrid − Águilas

High-Speed Medium Distance Services[edit]

Service Rolling stock Route(s) Image
Avant Renfe Class 104 EMU Madrid – Toledo
Madrid – Ciudad Real
Málaga – Granada
Sevilla – Córdoba
Barcelona – Camp De Tarragona
Sevilla - Málaga
Renfe Class 114 EMU Madrid – Puertollano
Madrid – Valladolid
Barcelona – Figueres
Barcelona – Lleida
Sevilla – Granada
Renfe Class 121 EMU Cádiz – Jaén
A Coruña – Ourense
A Coruña – Vigo Urzaiz
Madrid – Ponferrada
Madrid – Gandia

Long Distance (DGSLD)[edit]

Luxury Tourist Train Services[edit]

Service Route(s) Locomotive Passenger Car Image
Al Ándalus Sevilla - Granada - Úbeda - Sevilla Renfe Class 319.3 Locomotive Al Ándalus Renfe_319.323_+_319.304_"Al_Andalus"_(48373548251)
Costa Verde Express Bilbao - Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela - Bilbao
Feve Class 1900 Locomotive El Transcantábrico FEVE_1916_+_"El_Transcantábrico"_(50101413867)
El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo San Sebastián–Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela–San Sebastián
Feve Class 1900 Locomotive El Transcantábrico FEVE_1916_+_"El_Transcantábrico"_(50182318097)
La Robla Express "La Robla Route:"
Bilbao - León
León - Bilbao
"Pilgrim's Route:"
Oviedo - Ortigueira - Santiago de Compostela - Oviedo
Feve Class 1650 Locomotive La Robla El_Expreso_de_la_Robla_-_seascape

Mainline Long Distance Services[edit]

Service(s) Route(s) Locomotive Passenger Car Image
Intercity Madrid – Algeciras
Madrid – Granada
Madrid – Murcia – Cartagena
Madrid – Almería
Barcelona – Murcia – Cartagena/Lorca
Madrid – Cáceres – Badajoz
Renfe Class 334 Locomotive Talgo Pendular RENFE_334_018_Campillos
Madrid – Almería
Barcelona – Murcia – Cartagena/Lorca
Madrid – Valencia
Renfe Class 252 Locomotive Talgo Pendular 252-066-6,_Spain,_Tarragona,_Port_Aventura_-_Tres_Camins_stretch_(Trainpix_199420)

High-Speed Long Distance Services[edit]

Service Rolling stock Route(s) Image
AVE Renfe Class 100 EMU Madrid – Sevilla
Madrid – Alicante
Madrid – Marseille[1]
Barcelona – Toulouse[2]
Barcelona – Lyon[3]
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
Alvia (mixed high-speed &
conventional service)
Renfe Class 120 EMU Madrid – Pamplona
Madrid – Logroño
Madrid – Irún/Hendaya
Madrid – Bilbao
Madrid – Salamanca
Barcelona – Irún
Barcelona – Bilbao
Barcelona – Pamplona
Barcelona – Valladolid
Torre del Oro: Barcelona – Valencia – Sevilla – Cádiz
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
Euromed: Barcelona – Valencia – Alicante
Renfe Class 730 HMU Alicante – Madrid – Pontevedra
Alicante – Madrid – A Coruña
Madrid – Ferrol
Madrid – Pontevedra
Madrid – Ponferrada
Madrid – Murcia
Madrid – Badajoz

Prototype rolling stock[edit]

Service Rolling stock Image
AVE Renfe Class 105 EMU Oaris_de_CAF_(105.001)_en_proves_per_Vilafant
AVE Talgo AVRIL EMU Renfe Class 106 at Córdoba

Future rolling stock[edit]

Service Rolling stock Quantity
Ancho Metrico Unknown Meter Gauge CAF EMU 26
Unknown Meter Gauge CAF BMU 5
Cercanías X'trapolis Coradia EMU 152
Unknown Meter Gauge CAF EMU 6
Media Distancia Unknown Iberian Gauge CAF EMU 28
AVE Renfe Class 106 EMU 30
Renfe Class 107 EMU 13

Vehicles register numbers[edit]

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


Travel tickets are available from rail stations and online. In 2023 the European Commission initiated an investigation into concerns that Renfe might have been abusing its dominant position in the online ticketing market by refusing to share journey time information with competing ticketing websites. Renfe offered a number of commitments intended to address these concerns, which the European Commission made legally binding in January 2024 under the EU's competition rules.[13]

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. ^ "Renfe | Train Tickets & Routes | Book in English". Trainline. Retrieved 3 November 2022.
  4. ^ "La Nueva Renfe" [The New Renfe]. Federación Castellano Manchega de Amigos del Ferrocarril (in Spanish). 11 January 2005.
  5. ^ "RENFE restructuring approved". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  6. ^ Puente, Fernando. "Renfe confirms four subsidiary split". International Railway Journal. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  7. ^ "Railway Gazette". Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  8. ^ Railway Gazette. "Railway Gazette".
  9. ^ a b "$276 million was spent on 31 Spanish trains before it was realized they were too big to fit in the tunnels". Business Insider. 12 February 2023.
  10. ^ Badcock, James. "Spain spends €258m to build trains too big for its tunnels". MSN. Retrieved 10 February 2023.
  11. ^ King, Chris (10 February 2023). "Cantabrian President demands heads of 'big shots' must roll over new trains not fitting through tunnels". Euro Weekly News. Retrieved 10 February 2023.
  12. ^ "Heads roll in- Spain over trains too wide for tunnels". Stuff/Fairfax. 2023.
  13. ^ European Commission, Commission accepts commitments by Renfe opening up competition in online rail ticketing in Spain, Press Release IP/24/201, published 17 January 2024

External links[edit]