Adif signed the agreements for HSR services

Spanish rail liberalisation process
Isabel Pardo de Vera, Adif AV CEO

Adif Alta Velocidad has signed with Ilsa consortium, comprising Trenitalia and Spanish airline Air Nostrum, and Rielsfera, a subsidiary of SNCF, the 10-year framework agreements to operate the three high-speed railway lines under Spanish rail liberalisation process.

The 10-year agreements with Ilsa comsortium and Rielsfera envisage the provision of transport service on Madrid-Barcelona, Madrid-Valencia/Alicante and Madrid-Malaga/Seville high-speed railway connections. According to Trenitalia, the Spanish high-speed rail services will enter commercial operation in January 2022, and it will last for the next 10 years. Ilsa consortium will deliver transport services using 23 Frecciarossa 1000 trainsets manufactured by Hitachi Rail and Bombardier.

The three corridors were split into three packages (A, B and C) with Ilsa tendering for package B and Rielsfera for package C.

Once the agreements are signed, the railway companies must request the capacity for each annual train schedule to define the lines or a specific schedule of the transport services. Within three months, Adif will publish the remaining capacity after the conclusion of the first phase of the liberalisation process will take place. The interested rail passenger companies on providing transport services on different other lines excepting the three high-speed priority lines, can present their proposal following the deadlines and legally established process.

Adif has already made available to interested companies to study their transport projects on other lines of the Railway Network of General Interest. Thus, the applications for train paths will start on December 14, 2020, for the entire Spanish railway network, both high-speed and conventional networks, will be liberalised, with the exception of services that operate under a public service obligation which they will be subject to future Spanish rail liberalisation process.

“The liberalisation will stimulate the railway sector and improve the mobility of people, offering more and better services. This process will also be a relevant aid in the fight against climate change,” Isabel Pardo de Vera, the CEO of Adif AV said.

At the same time, Adif is continuing the large-scale projects in Sants, Barcelona and Puerta de Atocha and Chamartín stations (in Madrid), to decongest the main high-speed stations of the network, gradually offering the needed capacity.

Under the agreements, Adif seeks to increase the infrastructure capacity ensuring optimal traffic over a period of several years.

The opening of Spanish rail passenger market, by providing full access to the new operators will contribute to a more intensive and efficient use of the existing network – the high-speed and conventional networks, as well as greater sustainability of Adif and Adif AV the entire Spanish railway system.

In addition, the liberalisation of the passenger rail services represents an opportunity to promote sustainable mobility, at a time when the carbon footprint must be reduced. Therefore, it is to be expected that the railway will become the most environmentally friendly means of transport, playing an especially prominent role in the transport system.

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