The Spanish government has not disclosed how much it expects to raiset from selling Adif's property, which will be carried out amidst a deep economic recession and with house prices in freefall - they have already dropped by 25% from a peak in late 2008.

Adif will start negotiations to sell 77 stations to the companies and individuals which currently rent them, and will auction the remainder. Most of these are located along disused lines and many have not been used since 1985.

The railway houses, many of which were allocated to their current tenants a generation ago and which are currently let at prices well below €100 per month, will be offered at a special price to former rail employees or their families.

As part of this plan, Adif plans to relocate hundreds of its employees from rented offices to accommodation at Madrid's two main stations: Atocha and Chamartin.

Earlier this week, the Spanish government sold the international terminal at Canfranc station on the French border to the Aragon autonomous region for €310,062. This historic building was closed 40 years ago, along with the tunnel under the Pyrenees to France.