RENFE is and will continue to be one of the most outstanding clients of our Railway Planning Tools. That´s why we are so interested in knowing more about the experience and opinions of someone like Agustín Gutiérrez Galache. With an outstanding professional track record of over 30 years of experience at Renfe, Agustin has an extremely in-depth knowledge of our solutions, and together, with his vast experience in many areas, enables him to be in the unique position of better understanding the importance of planning tools in a Transit Authority.
Agustín began his career at Renfe in 1980 in the Engineering and Conductors branch and after several promotions, joined the ranks of Renfe´s High Speed Train (AVE) department. In 2007, he assumed responsibility as Chief Planning and Programming Officer within the General Directorate of High Speed/Long Distance Services. It was precisely during his tenure there that Agustín began to play a vital role in developing optimization tool applications for both material resources and personnel on board Renfe´s trains.
More recently, since 2012 to the present, Agustín is Chief of the Technical Planning Department for the Operation of the High Speed Train (AVE) project in Saudi Arabia. And that is where work is being carried out with our company to develop the optimization and implementation tools for this ambitious international project.
Q: For a railway industry professional like yourself, who has seen such tremendous changes occur in transport over the last 30 years, what do you see as the major challenge for transportation networks to achieve that long-awaited sustainability?
R: “I think the major challenge that transportation systems face in order to be sustainable is profitability; that´s why the use of optimization tools, both during the planning and programming stages as well as in real time, is absolutely fundamental towards reaching our goal to reduce railway operational costs.”
Q: To what extent is it important to incorporate planning solutions such as the ones Goal Systems offers to reach those needed levels of effectiveness and profitability?
R: “The need to mechanize and automate productive processes through the use of optimization tools allows us calculate the amount of resources needed, whether they be material or human resources, which is absolutely vital in the decision-making process. Likewise, these solutions also need to be fully integrated into our production control systems and be compatible with other cost control and financial applications.”
Q: What urban and inter-urban transportation developments do you foresee as the new frontier in technologyover the next century? What do you think the future holds for railway transport, both in Spain and in Europe as a whole?
R: “I would hope to see how means of transportation evolve towards being more environmental-friendly systems; that is, more sustainable and less polluting. I think we may be surprised at some of the fuel-related innovations that are on the horizon. We are also closely following some of the new technology proposals that will enable us to reach extremely high speeds for long-distance railway transit, such as the Hyperloop, a high speed train for cargo and passengers which can reach up to 1,200 kph by means of a levitating capsule that advances inside a low-pressure, reinforced steel tube system.
The future of railway transit in Spain and Europe hinges upon cross-border collaboration and joint efforts so that long-distance corridors and interoperability in a European framework can ensure a bright future for both cargo and passenger transportation.”
Q: What means of transportation do you think will predominate in the large cities of the third millennium, and why?
R: “Without a doubt, one of our major objectives will be to eliminate private transportation in large cities and in order to achieve that, we need to reinforce and make our mass transit systems extremely efficient: commuter trains, subways, buses—all will need to provide efficient solutions to citizens´ need for mobility.”