The project for liberalising rail transport has marked our history. We were created in 2005 when the former RENFE split into two companies with clearly differentiated scopes. We would be the operator, responsible for providing the passenger and goods transport service, and Adif would be responsible for managing the railway infrastructure.
Within this context, we have been able to optimise our specialisation and reaffirm the values that make up our DNA: leadership, business excellence, customer proximity and commitment to quality, safety, energy efficiency and innovation, not forgetting our mission to provide a public service through a mode of transport that aims to belong to all and be for all, surpassing all barriers.
With 5,000 trains running every day in Spain, more than 500 million passengers a year, about 15,000 committed employees who are proud of their work and the most outstanding rates for punctuality, quality and satisfaction, Renfe is working to make the train the star of mobility in Spain and, at the same time, expand our business and cross borders.
The intense work done since then has made us one of the leading railway companies in the world and projected us significantly on an international scale, where our reputation will grow even more with the liberalisation of the railway sector in Europe over coming years.
As a company, we are maximising the benefits of the sustainability that goes with this mode of transport, and we are making a decisive commitment to technological and digital transformation – areas that will make Renfe a benchmark global operator beyond the rail market.
In 2012, Renfe-Operadora was established as the head of a group of companies created by Royal Decree precisely to further advance the process of liberalising the railway sector and opening it up to competition. In short, the structure implemented involved the creation of four state-owned trading companies whose capital is held entirely by Renfe Operadora, which maintains its legal status as a state-owned company.
Its current organisational structure is shown in the following chart:
We have organised our activity into four public limited companies (Renfe Viajeros (Renfe Passengers), Renfe Mercancías (Renfe Freight), Renfe Fabricación y Mantenimiento (Renfe Manufacturing and Maintenance) and Renfe Alquiler de Material (Renfe Rolling Stock Hire)) and one state-owned company: Renfe Operadora.
For more information on our numbers, please contact our department of Business and Economic Information
Our beginnings, those of the train in Spain, date back 80 years, when a process of reconstructing and nationalising the railway industry took place in our country and gave rise to the Red Nacional de Ferrocarriles Españoles (RENFE: National Network of Spanish Railways) in 1941.
From that moment on, work began on gradually replacing the steam system with an electrical system. It was followed by the first commercial Talgo and the first diesel locomotives. Technological renewal marked development in the 1950s.
From the mid-1960s on, modernisation of the infrastructure started and, at the beginning of the 1980s, Spain took one of the main strategic decisions for the future of the railway, committing, firstly, to the creation of Cercanías (Commuter) in large urban areas and, secondly, to the development of a network of Alta Velocidad (high-speed) infrastructures that would culminate in the inauguration of the Madrid-Seville AVE (high-speed) in 1992, which would be definitively developed from the decade 2000 to the present day.
Renfe is now a world-class transport operator, independent of infrastructure management since 2005 and, therefore, fully adapted to the liberalisation scenario in Europe.