There is no point in running a test freight train unless it carries a commercial payload. Such was the case when the final session of verification testing started on the new high speed line between Pola de Lena and La Robla on 1 September 2023.
On 6 June 2023 the FCH2Rail project, in which a bi-mode demonstrator train with hydrogen fuel cells is being developed, has achieved an important milestone by obtaining authorisation to run in tests on the Spanish national network.
On 3 May 2023, during a meeting with Adrián Barbón, the President of the Principality of Asturias, the Secretary General for Infrastructures, Xavier Flores, announced that the 50 km high speed line from La Robla to Pola de Lena, through the 25 km base tunnel under the Cordillera Cantábrica, would be opened to commercial traffic 'during November 2023'.
On 20 February 2023, around 20 years after the official start of construction and 18 years after the first tunnel lining ring was moved into position, Adif Alta Velocidad took the significant step of transferring the infrastructure of the Variante de Pajares high speed line, between La Robla and Pola de Lena to its filial concern, Adif Circulación y Mantenimiento.
Over the weekend of 5/6 February 2022 test running on this new cross-city 1,435 mm gauge line started, using Renfe's AVLO 112.013 and 021.