Throughout the forty years of Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya’s history, it has worked on one of its main identifying features: the ability to adapt its lines to the enormous diversity of Catalan territory. In fact, FGC today is the most varied European railway company in terms of public transport systems, running suburban railways like the Vallès and Baix Llobregat Metro systems, freight services like the branch lines from Manresa to Sallent, Súria and that of the port of Barcelona, rack trains like those of Núria and Montserrat, funiculars like those of Vallvidrera, Gelida, Sant Joan and the Santa Cova and various cable cars and ski lifts, like those at the resorts of La Molina, Vall de Núria, Port Ainé, Espot and Vallter 2000.
FGC 1979-2019, 40 years of history and innovation
However, this story really began on 23rd June 1863, with the opening of one of the world’s first metropolitan railways, the “Tren de Sarrià”, and was consolidated over the following decades with the spread of railway networks all over central Catalonia and the Vallès region. Over time, these networks became the two networks that we know today as Barcelona-Vallès and Llobregat-Anoia, living through the upheavals of the 20th century, including electrification, the Spanish Civil War and the rise of road transport. Thus, after a lifetime marked by innovation, survival and modernity, by the seventies both networks were facing closure. Rising running costs and misguided state policies on rail transport pushed the operating companies to the limit.
Fortunately, on 5th September 1979 the new public company Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) was set up, and soon took over the running of both networks. These networks, which had been transferred to the recently-restored Generalitat, the Catalan government, a few months before, began a new stage in their history. After ensuring safe operations, FGC implemented a new business philosophy characterised by innovation and modernity and seeking at all times to improve quality of service and passenger comfort. This business philosophy has also been applied to the different transport systems and tourist operations incorporated into FGC’s structure over its 40 years of history.