Renfe Operadora

Renfe Operadora (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈreɱfe opeɾaˈðoɾa]) 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 networks of the Spanish national railway infrastructure company Adif (Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias—Railway Infrastructure Administration).

Renfe Operadora
State-owned enterprise
IndustryRail transport
Founded24 January 1941 (original)
1 January 2005 (Renfe Operadora)
Key people
Julio Gómez-Pomar Rodríguez (CEO),
Enrique Peña Pérez,
Manuel Fresno Castro,
José Luis Marroquín
ProductsRail transport, Freight
Revenue 3.6 billion (2017)[1]
69.8 million (2017)
OwnerGovernment of Spain (100%)
Number of employees
13,720 (2018)[2]
SubsidiariesRenfe Cercancías


The name "Renfe" is derived from that of the former Spanish National Railway Network, RENFE (acronym of Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles—National Network of Spanish Railways) 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in 1971 and given a facelift in 1983, with a sans-serif font, and again in 2000, with a mixed-case italic font, has been replaced by a dark purple lower-case wordmark designed by Interbrand, and also replaces some of the separate logos used by the other sectors, although the old RENFE logo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).

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. 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.[3][4]


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

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

Suburban and Medium Distance (DGSPCMD)

Cercanías (commuter rail)

Rolling stockMetropolitan areaImage
RENFE Class 442 EMUMadrid
RENFE Class 446 EMUBilbao
San Sebastián
RENFE Class 447 EMUBarcelona


RENFE Class 450/451 EMUBarcelona
Civia EMUAsturias
RENFE Class 592 DMUValencia

Medium Distance

Rolling stockRoute(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 EMUCatalunya
RENFE Class 449 EMUMadrid – Jaén
León – Ponferrada – Orense – Vigo
Sevilla – Cádiz
Barcelona – Girona – Figueres
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
RENFE Class 592 DMU (to be phased out)Madrid – Cuenca – Valencia
Madrid – Talavera
Murcia – Cartagena
Valencia − Alcoi
Oporto - Vigo (Service CP)
RENFE Class 594 DMUValladolid – Zamora – Puebla de Sanabria
A Coruña – Ferrol
A Coruña – Lugo – Monforte de Lemos - Ourense
Madrid – Soria
Murcia – Cartagena
RENFE Class 596 DMUMurcia – Cartagena
Orense – Monforte de Lemos
Zaragoza – Canfranc
Vigo - Valença
RENFE Class 598 DMUMadrid – Badajoz
Huelva – Zafra
Sevilla – Mérida
RENFE Class 599 DMUA 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
RENFE Class 104 EMU (High-speed)Madrid – Toledo
Madrid – Ciudad Real
Sevilla – Córdoba
Barcelona – Camp De Tarragona
Zaragoza – Calatayud
RENFE Class 114 EMU (High-speed)Madrid – Valladolid
Barcelona – Lleida
RENFE Class 121 EMU (High-speed)Cádiz – Jaén
A Coruña – Ourense
A Coruña – Vigo Urzaiz
Madrid – Ponferrada
Madrid – Gandia

Long Distance (DGSLD)

Main Line and long distance services
ServiceRolling stockRoute(s)Image
AltariaRENFE Class 334 locomotive
+ Talgo IV cars
Madrid – Algeciras
Madrid – Granada
Madrid – Murcia – Cartagena
TalgoRENFE Class 252/334 locomotive
+ Talgo VI cars
Madrid – Almería
Barcelona – Murcia – Cartagena/Lorca
Torre del Oro:
Barcelona – Valencia – Sevilla
Intercity (Talgo)Renfe Class 252 locomotive
+ Talgo VI cars
Madrid – Valencia
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
Hendaye – Lisbon
High-speed long distance services
ServiceRolling stockRoute(s)Image
AVERENFE Class 100 EMUMadrid – Sevilla
Madrid – Alicante
Madrid – Marseille
Barcelona – Toulouse
Barcelona – Lyon
RENFE Class 102 EMUMadrid – Huesca
Madrid – Zaragoza
Madrid – Valladolid
Madrid – Málaga
Valencia – Sevilla
RENFE Class 103 EMUMadrid – Barcelona
Madrid – Málaga
RENFE Class 112 EMUMadrid – Cuenca – Valencia
Madrid – Cuenca – Albacete
Madrid – León
Barcelona – Málaga
Barcelona – Zaragoza
Barcelona – Sevilla
(mixed high-speed &
conventional service)
RENFE Class 120/121 EMUMadrid – Pamplona
Madrid – Logroño
Madrid – Irún/Hendaya
Madrid – Bilbao
Barcelona – Irún
Barcelona – Bilbao
Barcelona – Pamplona
Barcelona – Valladolid
RENFE Class 130 EMUMadrid – 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 Class 730 HMUAlicante – Madrid – Pontevedra
Alicante – Madrid – A Coruña
Madrid – Ferrol
Madrid – Pontevedra
Madrid – Ponferrada
AVE CityRENFE Class 104 EMU
RENFE Class 121 EMU
Valencia – Málaga
Madrid – Sevilla
Madrid – León
(medium-high-speed service)
RENFE Class 130 EMUBarcelona – Valencia – Alicante

Class numbers

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

See also


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


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