Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, S.A.
TypeSociedad Anónima
Founded1917 (Compañía Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles)
HeadquartersBeasain, Spain
Number of locations
11 factories, including: Beasain (Basque Country)
Zaragoza (Aragon)
Irún (Basque Country)
Linares (Andalusia)
Hortolandia (Brazil)
Huehuetoca (Mexico)
Elmira, New York (US)
Key people
Jose María Baztarrica Garijo, Andrés Arizkorreta (Chief Executive Officer and Chairman)
ProductsDesign, manufacture, maintenance and supply of equipment and components for railway systems
RevenueIncrease € 1,45 billion (2014
Increase € 146 million EBITDA (2014)
Increase € 62 million (2014)
OwnerPublic; Employees via Cartera Social S.A. (30%); Guipúzcoa Donostia Kutxa (23%)
Number of employees
11,433[1] (december 2018 inc. subsidiaries)
Mass Transit Railway Hong Kong A-Stock EMU built by CAF and Adtranz

Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (Grupo CAF, literally "Construction & Other Railway Services") is a Spanish publicly listed company which manufactures railway vehicles and equipment and buses through its Solaris Bus & Coach subsidiary. It is based in Beasain, Basque Autonomous Community. Equipment manufactured by Grupo CAF includes light rail vehicles, rapid transit trains, railroad cars and locomotives, as well as variable gauge axles that can be fitted on any existing truck or bogie.

Over the 20 years from the early 1990s, CAF benefited from the rail investment boom in its home market in Spain to become a world player with a broad technical capability, able to manufacture almost any type of rail vehicle.[2] CAF has supplied railway rolling stock to a number of major urban transit operators around Europe, the US, South America, East Asia, India, Australia and North Africa.


Bucharest Metro trains, built between 2013 and 2014
Bucharest Metro trains, built between 2013 and 2014

CAF was an acronym for the earlier name of Compañía Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, as well as for Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles.

Fábrica de Hierros San Martín

In 1860 Domingo Goitia, Martín Usabiaga and José Francisco Arana established this company, whose main activity was puddling furnaces and cylinder rolling.

La Maquinista Guipuzcoana

In 1892 Francisco de Goitia (Domingo Goitia's son and heir) joined the Marquess of Urquijo to set up La Maquinista Guipuzcoana, whose main activity was the operation of machinery and the forging and construction of railway rolling stock.

In 1898 it set up its plant in Beasain, Gipuzkoa. In 1905 it changed its name to Fábrica de Vagones de Beasain (FVB).

Compañía Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles

Compañía Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) was founded in 1917, specializing in freight car production and with a total of 1,600 employees.

In 1940 the Irun factory was set up, following the expansion of activity after the Spanish Civil War (CAF took part in reconstructing the Spanish rail fleet).

In 1954 CAF took over Material Móvil y Construcciones (MMC) from Zaragoza (Aragon), a company with extensive experience in manufacturing long-distance and subway trains.

Since 1958 the company has modernized and enlarged its Beasain plant and expanded its activity to include all kinds of rolling stock. In line with this, in 1969 CAF created its Research and Development Unit, which increased the company's competitiveness and intensified the focus on in-house technology.

Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles

In 1971 the existing Compañía Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) merged with Material Móvil y Construcciones (MMC) and the company adopted its current name Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles.


CAF U.S.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of CAF, was incorporated in 1998[3] and is based in Elmira, New York. It manufactures rolling stock for the North American market at a plant in Elmira that the company acquired from ADtranz in 2000.[4] The company from Beasain continued its expansion during the third millennium.

On 24 May 2019, it announced the acquisition of the Swedish company Euromaint at a cost of circa €80 million, following other international contracts to supply Flemish and English railway and underground networks in 2017.[5][6]

CAF Rolling Stock U.K. Ltd.[7] is the CAF subsidiary in the United Kingdom. Its factory is based at Celtic Springs Business Park, at Llanwern steelworks near Newport, Wales as a result of an agreement made between CAF and the Welsh Government.[8] The Newport factory has built stock for Transport for Wales, Arriva Rail North, the Docklands Light Railway, and potentially High Speed 2 if CAF win the bid process.

Political activity

During the 2019 United Kingdom general election, CAF Rail UK Limited made a donation of £50,000 to the Conservative Party.[9]

This article may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints. Please improve the article by adding information on neglected viewpoints, or discuss the issue on the talk page. (September 2021)

In 2019, it entered into litigation that affects its corporate image. Participating in a consortium, JNET, together with the Israeli company Shapir Engineering and Industry, has won a tender promoted by the Israeli Ministry of Transport and Road Safety to supply railway equipment, in addition to building, extending and operating light rail lines from Jerusalem to nearby settlements in disputed territories, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.[10] In turn, Shapir is on the list of companies that benefit from the occupation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, as denounced by the United Nations Human Rights Council.[11]

Tram design flaws

In December 2017, the Besançon Tramway in Besançon, France discovered cracks in their Urbos 3s vehicles around the bogie box area of the bodies, which in December 2020 CAF paid for remedial work to be performed with each unit affected requiring one month downtime for the work to be completed.[12]

On June 11th, 2021, The West Midlands Metro (operating between Birmingham and Wolverhampton, England) were forced to suspend their services due to similar cracks being discovered in the bogie box areas of their Urbos 3s vehicles, with ongoing investigations continuing to identify any other issues relating to the cracks and to find options for remedial works to be performed.[13]

Following on from these instances, in November 2021 the New South Wales transport minister Rob Stokes announced that the Sydney L1 Dulwich Hill Line would be decommissioned for up to 18 months, due to serious design flaws in all 12 of the CAF Urbos 3s tram sets that were running on the line. Stokes stated that the flaws (in the bogie boxes) were likely to be far broader in scope than those identified in Sydney due to the thousands of the same tram type operated around the world.[14]

Rolling stock

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Renfe Operadora Class 121


For FEVE, now part of Renfe Operadora:

For Euskotren:

For Serveis Ferroviaris de Mallorca:

For other operators:


For Madrid:

For Barcelona:

Class 5000
Class 5000

For Helsinki:


Outside Spain: trains

Algiers Metro
Algiers Metro
Heathrow Express Class 332
Tren de la Costa unit acquired in 1995
Tren de la Costa unit acquired in 1995

Newport factory, South Wales, UK

Main article: CAF Newport

British Rail Class 195 Civity, one of the prospective units to be manufactured at the CAF production line in Newport, Wales
British Rail Class 195 Civity, one of the prospective units to be manufactured at the CAF production line in Newport, Wales

CAF Rolling Stock U.K. Ltd announced in 2017 its UK factory location was selected as Celtic Business Park at Llanwern steelworks in Newport, Wales.[20] It has at least five confirmed UK projects from 2019 onwards and will be the site for their bid to design stock for High Speed 2. The site was funded with support from the Welsh Government Inward Investment Programme.[8]

Outside Spain: metros and trams

Brussels Metro new unit built by CAF
Brussels Metro new unit built by CAF
Rome metro
Rome metro
Caracas metro
Caracas metro
Budapest tram Line 1, the longest passenger tram in the world
Budapest tram Line 1, the longest passenger tram in the world
São Paulo commuter rail
CAF 5000 on Line B of the Buenos Aires Underground
CAF 5000 on Line B of the Buenos Aires Underground

See also


  1. ^[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Hondius, Dr Harry. "IN FOCUS: CAF, A versatile enterprise that keeps expanding". Railway Gazette International. 168, No. 4 (April 2012).
  3. ^ "Building on a century of progress and success [company history]". CAF USA. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  4. ^ Jamieson, R. (March 24, 2015). "CAF USA keeps Elmira area's rail heritage rolling". Star-Gazette. Elmira, New York. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  5. ^ "CAF logra contratos para suministrar tranvías en Bélgica y Suecia". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  6. ^ "El Grupo CAF refuerza su actividad con la compra de la empresa sueca EuroMaint". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  7. ^ "CAF ROLLING STOCK UK LIMITED - Overview (free company information from Companies House)". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  8. ^ a b "More than 3000 new Welsh jobs created following inward investment". GOV.WALES. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  9. ^ "View donation". The Electoral Commission. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Press release CAF". Archived from the original on 8 August 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Informe Base de Datos del Consejo de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas". Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Cracks force suspension of Metro Service". Tramways and Urban Transit August 2021 No. 1004. 2021-08-01.
  13. ^ "Cracks force suspension of Metro Service". Tramways and Urban Transit August 2021 No. 1004. 2021-08-01.
  14. ^ O'Sullivan, Matt (2021-11-05). "Sydney's inner west light rail line out of action for up to 18 months". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2021-11-05.
  15. ^ CAF project page on MÁV
  16. ^ Arrived from Spain this morning
  17. ^ Heathrow Express trains take shape Modern Railways issue 564 September 1995 page 541
  18. ^ HEx clones for Leeds triangle Modern Railways issue 595 April 1998 page 213
  19. ^ "More new trains for the North and Scotland". TransPennine Express. TransPennine Express. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  20. ^ "THE NEW CAF PLANT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM WILL BE BUILT IN NEWPORT (WALES)". Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles. 13 July 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  21. ^ Carter, Kirsty (2019-06-10). "CAF Unveils Bid To Supply Oaris Trains To HS2". Rail Professional. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  22. ^ a b Ltd, DVV Media International. "Railway supply industry news round-up". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  23. ^ "CAF commences design and engineering on DMUs for Wales and Borders franchise". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  24. ^ Calgary Announcement of Green Line LRV order
  25. ^ CAF project page on Debrecen
  26. ^ CAF project page on Budapest
  27. ^ CAF project page on Oslo
  28. ^ "CAF wins order for new DLR trains | Railnews | Today's news for Tomorrow's railway". Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  29. ^ "Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, we create railway solutions ::". CAF. Archived from the original on 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2009-07-15.