Iryo, Spain’s first private high-speed operator made its first commercial trip between Madrid, Zaragoza and Barcelona on November 25.
12 trains will provide daily passenger services on the Madrid – Zaragoza – Barcelona railway route.
The transport services are provided by Frecciarossa 1000 high-speed trains which will provide connections between Madrid, Valencia and Cuenca which are planned from 16 December.
Prior starting the commercial services, Iryo an official inauguration was held on November 21, 2022, at Joaquín Sorolla station in Valencia with a maiden journey between Madrid and Valencia which saw aboard Raquel Sánchez, the Spanish Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, María Luisa Domínguez, the President of Adif, Carlo Palasciano Villamagna, Chief International Officer of FS Group, Luigi Corradi, CEO of Trenitalia, and other officials.
“The landing of our Frecciarossa in Spain and the launch of the commercial activities of our subsidiary Iryo is the last piece of a strategy which sees the FS Group increasingly active in an integrated European railway market now open to competition. We intend to make the experience gained in the Italian high-speed market available to Europe and Spain, so as to replicate the positive results and models that have proved to be successful, also and above all for travelers and local areas” Luigi Ferraris, CEO of FS Group said.
From 31 March 2023, iryo will start passenger services Seville, Malaga, Antequera and Cordova and on 2 June it will also reach Alicante and Albacete thanks to 20 Frecciarossa 1000 train fleet. The high-speed trains are made with 95% recyclable materials, have reduced consumption compared to previous generation trains and are able to contain CO2 emissions per passenger-kilometre to 28 grams. For these reasons, they are the first trains to have obtained the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).
In 2020, Trenitalia awarded Hitachi Rail and Bombardier Transportation a EUR 797 million contract for the supply of 23 ETR 1000 trains (Frecciarossa 1000 high-speed trains) to be operated by Iryo on the Spanish high-speed network. Each train will be approximately 200 metres long with capacity for 460 passengers and capable of commercial speeds of up to 360 km/h.
Iryo is owned by Trenitalia (45%) and by the Operador Ferroviario de Levante (31%), a subsidiary of Spanish air operator Air Nostrum while Globalvia has the remaining 24%.
Iryo is the third high-speed operator after Renfe and SNCF’s Ouigo company which entered Spanish market due to liberalisation process and signed framework agreements for 10 years. In December 2019, Adif AV has announced that Renfe Viajeros, Ilsa consortium (Iryo), and Rielsfera (Ouigo España operator) will operate three high-speed rail corridors.
“We are proud of having established transparent and non-discriminatory conditions for all companies interested in rail liberalisation, without favored treatment. The competition has reduced prices, increasing the social profitability of investments and ensuring the right to mobility for all citizens,” the Minister of Transport said.
The liberalisation will mean an increase of around 55% of the high-speed offer on the Madrid – Barcelona, Madrid – Levante and Madrid-Sur corridors, and soon the services will begin on Madrid -Galicia route, the Mediterranean Corridor or Madrid-León-Asturias.
The high-speed network in Spain connects 70% of the population and will exceed 4,000 km before the end of the year, with the commissioning the link to Murcia. With an investment of more than EUR 60 billion, the network has contributed to the socioeconomic development and territorial structure of Spain. The Ministry of Transport says that between 1992 and 2021, the use of the new high-speed rail network has generated savings of close to EUR 6 billion considering its impact on climate change, pollution and accidents.