The rail sector in Spain is in a process of transformation. Within one year access will be allowed for private initiatives to passenger and cargo transport, up until now managed exclusively by the public entity RENFE. With this prospect, the State's need to tighten its belt on expenses becomes an investment opportunity for sector companies. This opening can be taken advantage of in both sub-sectors. Passenger rail transport has a stable market share that is performing positively thanks to the extension of the high-speed network and the generalization of medium-speed. With regard to cargo transport, the project known as the European Mediterranean Corridor, considered a priority by the European Union and already in the development phase will strengthen its use, still below the average of the rest of Community countries.

‪Regulation of the sector is achieved by Law 39/2003, on the Rail Sector and its Regulations, as approved by Royal Decree 2387/2004. Subsequently, Royal Decree 1434/2010 came to transpose Directive 2008/57/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, which affects the interoperability of the Community rail network, consisting of the uninterrupted transit capacity throughout the entire scope of the Union. The recent Royal Decree-Law 22/2012 set July 31, 2013 as the start date for liberalization of the sector. The same rule establishes the reconfiguration of RENFE's structure to compete with private companies following the opening of the market. Four companies are created, wholly-owned by RENFE and specializing, respectively, in the following activities: passengers, cargo and logistics, manufacturing and maintenance and management of assets. Furthermore, Royal Decree-Law 22/2012 provides for the elimination of the public business entity Ferrocarriles Españoles de Vía Estrecha (FEVE), whose personnel and assets are divided between RENFE and ADIF.‬

‪The railway has special significance within a sequence of multimodal transport, in connection with the maritime and road transport.‬ ‪In this activity, the railroad is often placed as an intermediate element, making its legal analysis a complex issue that must be addressed from a global perspective of transport phenomena.‬ ‪The study of the varied problems posed requires a multidisciplinary team able to add their capabilities to the project's success.‬

‪Gómez-Acebo & Pombo offers the full range of legal services for the complete protection of investments in the rail sector:‬

  • ‪Advice on the drafting and execution of all contracts of carriage and both single and multi-modal logistics, in terms of reception, transit and storage of goods and licensing, distribution and franchising agreements.
  • ‪Advice on international trade in all areas: negotiations for international contracting, foreign taxation, competition and regulatory law.‬
  • ‪Securities market transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, assignments, equity participation and controlling shares in companies, takeovers, spin-offs and joint venture projects.‬
  • ‪Financing and refinancing operations with funds from both private entities as well as from national, Community and international institutional funds.
  • ‪Advice on environmental law, urban planning law, competition law, industrial property law and regulatory law, including sanctioning proceedings and the contentious jurisdiction.