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The Transport Network


Spanish railways date from 1848. The total route length in 2004 was 14,781 km (8,791 km electrified)
broad gauge (1668 mm): 11,829 km (6,950 km electrified at 3 kV DC)
standard gauge (1435 mm): 998 km (all electrified at 25 kV AC)
narrow gauge] (1000 mm): 1,926 km (815 km electrified)
narrow gauge] (914 mm): 28 km (all electrified)

Most railways are operated by RENFE; narrow-gauge lines are operated by FEVE and other carriers in individual autonomous communitites. It is proposed to build or convert more standard-gauge lines, including some dual gauging of broad-gauge lines, especially where these lines link to adjacent countries.

Cities with metro/light rail systems

  • Alicante (Alicante Tram)
  • Barcelona (Barcelona Metro/Barcelona Tram)
  • Bilbao (Bilbao Metro/Bilbao Tram)
  • Madrid (Madrid Metro)
  • Valencia (Valencia Metro)
  • Malaga (Malaga Metro) under construction
  • Granada (Granada Tram) under construction
  • Palma de Mallorca
  • Vitoria-Gasteiz (Vitoria-Gasteiz tram) under construction
  • Seville (Seville Metro) under construction
  • Parla (Parla Tram or VíaParla)
  • Vélez-Málaga under construction due to open September 2006
  • Santa Cruz de Tenerife Capital of Tenerife, system opened late 2007

Railway links with adjacent countries

  • Flag of Andorra Andorra – no
  • Flag of France France – yes – break-of-gauge 1668mm/1435mm (new high-speed lines will link without any break-of-gauge)
  • Flag of Portugal Portugal – yes
  • Flag of Morocco Morocco – no – proposed undersea tunnel.

Tunnel across the Strait of Gibraltar

In December 2003, Spain and Morocco agreed to explore the construction of an undersea rail tunnel to connect their rail systems. The gauge of the tunnel would be 1435mm to match the proposed construction and conversion of significant parts of the existing broad gauge system to standard gauge.

Road system

total: 346,858 km (1997 est.).

paved: 343,389 km (including 9,063 km of expressways).

unpaved: 3,469 km.


1,045 km, but of minor economic importance


gas 7,962 km; oil 622 km; refined products 3,447 km (2006)

Ports and harbours

Most importants are Algeciras, Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao others: Cádiz, Cartagena, Ceuta, Huelva, La Coruña, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Málaga, Melilla,Gijón, Palma de Mallorca, Saguntum, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Santander, Tarragona, Vigo, Motril, Almería, Seville, Castellón de la Plana, Alicante, Pasaia, Avilés,Ferrol…

Merchant marine

total: 169 ships (1000 GRT or over) 1,902,839 GRT/1,874,161 metric tons deadweight (DWT)
ships by type: bulk carrier 9, cargo 13, chemical tanker 14, container 27, liquefied gas 9, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 49, petroleum tanker 15, refrigerated cargo 5, roll on/roll off 20, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier 5 (2006)

Air transport

Airports – with paved runways

List of airports in Spain
total: 96
10,000 ft (3,048 m) and over 16
8,000 to 9,999 ft (2,438 to 3,047 m): 10
5,000 to 7,999 ft (1,524 to 2,437 m): 20
3,000 to 4,999 ft (914 to 1,523 m): 24
under 3,000 ft (914 m): 26 (2006 est.)

Main airports are Madrid, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Málaga, Gran Canaria, Alicante and Tenerife South.

Airports – with unpaved runways

total: 61
5,000 to 7,999 ft (1,524 to 2,437 m): 2
3,000 to 4,999 ft (914 to 1,523 m): 15
under 3,000 ft (914 m): 44 (2006 est.)

Airlines based in Spain

  • Iberia Airlines
  • Spanair
  • Air Europa
  • Vueling Airlines
  • Clickair


  • 8 (2006)

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