Adif and Adif AV are advancing the second phase of the rail passenger market liberalisation under which the existing and potential operators can response to an online consultation survey by September 29, 2023, a deadline extended by two weeks.
The consultation will help Spanish rail infrastructure manager to design the further opening of the market to competition. The responses will be treated as confidential if the operator wants to, Adif says.
The questionnaire was launched in July and is intended for potential candidates interested in operating in the railway transport system in Spain. The survey is looking for details and information on the potential routes, frequencies, stops, that respondents are interested in, as well as estimated occupancy of services and turnaround time at the terminals. It also specifically asks about the interest in Madrid bypasses as well as the use of the standard gauge tunnel connecting Atocha and Chamartín which has been used by high-speed services since July 2022.
Regarding the rolling stock component of the questionnaire invite operators to share information about characteristics and type of trains they would use, single trainsets of multiple trains, as well as the capacity (the number of seats).
The survey also includes questions about the desired framework agreement model, the required period taking into consideration the initial investment, the cooperation between companies and the use of the code-sharing system, as in the airline sector. Operators are asked to detail priority criteria when it is not possible to coordinate different requests, in addition to the maximum use of the infrastructure, which includes the possibility of expanding the current destinations or extending them.
The operators are also asked to provide information on maintenance operations, including the possibility of constructing their own workshops if they do not have agreements with rolling stock manufacturers, with other companies. Commercial needs at the stations, including sharing services with other operators or providing themselves is another issue Adif is asking. At the stations, Adif asks the details on the desired commercial services including space for ticketing sale and information service, premises for staff for on-board services, etc.
The rail passenger market liberalisation process in Spain begun with high-speed services, Iryo being the first private rail operator to begin commercial services. The national operator Renfe is also competing with Ouigo, a subsidiary of SNCF.