Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalan Government Railways), or FGC, is a railway company which operates several unconnected lines in Catalonia, Spain. It operates 140 km (88 miles) of metre gauge, 42 km (24 miles) of standard gauge, and 89 km (56 miles) of broad gauge route, two metre gauge rack railways and four funicular railways.
Barcelona commuter lines
FGC operates some of the Barcelona commuter rail
network. All lines are electrified
using overhead wires. There are two distinct (and separate) systems:
- The Metro del Vallès and Línia de Balmes are standard-gauge lines that run from the Plaça de Catalunya railway station to Av. Tibidabo (L7, brown on the map), Reina Elisenda (L6, purple), Sant Cugat del Vallès (S5), Sabadell (S2), and Terrassa (S1).
- The Metro del Baix Llobregat are metre-gauge lines that run from the Plaça d'Espanya railway station to Molí Nou-Ciutat Cooperativa (in Sant Boi de Llobregat, L8 - pink on the map), Martorell-Enllaç (S8), Olesa de Montserrat (S4), Manresa (R5), and Igualada (R6). There is also a metre-gauge freight line to the port of Barcelona, which diverges from the main line near Cornellà-Riera. Along the Llobregat valley, FGC runs on the northern bank through Sant Boi de Llobregat, Sant Vicenç dels Horts, Pallejà and on to Martorell (Enllaç), whereas RENFE line R4 run on the southern bank through towns Sant Joan Despí, Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Molins de Rei and on to Martorell (though not the same station as FGC).
The line numbering is as follows:
- L-prefixed lines (L for Línia - line) are treated as part of the Barcelona metro system, which consists of L1-L5 for the metro proper, L6-L8 on the FGC, L9 under construction, and L11, a short light rail line system in the northwest - see Barcelona Metro. These lines used to be known as U6-U7 (U for Urbà - urban). L8 was formerly known as S3.
- S-prefixed lines (S for Suburbà) are suburban lines, extending into metropolitan fare zone 2 or 3.
- R-prefixed lines (R for Rodalies) are Interurban lines, extending beyond zone 3. Lines R1-R4 and R7 (sometimes C1-C4/C7, C for Cercanías) are operated by RENFE, R5 and R6 by FGC.
Mountain railway and funicular lines
FGC operates two mountain railway
lines, both metre gauge using the Abt rack railway
FGC also operates four funicular railways:
On 1 January 2005
, ownership of the non-electrified broad-gauge line from Lleida
to La Pobla de Segur
passed from RENFE
to FGC. This is the most run-down line in Catalonia - the stretch from Lleida to Balaguer
was upgraded (using second-hand rails) in the recent past, but from Balaguer northwards the track is in an appalling state. FGC has a number of plans for this line, including increasing the service frequency from three trains a day to a 30-minute service from Balaguer to Lleida, along the lines of a commuter railway; replacing all the rails and sleepers; introducing new trains to replace the ancient diesel stock currently used; and promotion of the line to tourists (it passes through some scenic countryside at its northern end). There are even plans to extend the line to the Pyrenees
and possibly on to connect with railways in France
- the plan when the line was built, but never carried out.