Le Train, the first French private rail operator, and Talgo signed an agreement covering the potential future acquisition of 10 Avril high-speed trains adapted to the French market. The agreement also includes options for additional trains and the possibility to maintain the equipment in France.
Once the relevant contracts have been signed, construction of the first ten trains will begin in the first half of 2023 at Talgo’s plant in Rivabellosa, in the Province of Álava, Basque Country. The first trains are expected to be handed over in early 2025.
The two companies also intend to create a joint research and development facility in Nouvelle-Aquitaine to develop the rail transport.
“Talgo has signed a large-scale, long-term partnership with Le Train. This is a great opportunity for our company to deploy its expertise and innovations north of the Pyrenees. We are honoured that Le Train has entrusted Talgo with the development of its first fleet of new high-speed trains,” Carlos Palacio Oriol, President of Patentes Talgo said.
The Avril high-speed trains will have refined design and will be equipped with new technologies and innovative solutions. They will be designed taking into account high reliability, energy efficiency components.
Following the call for tenders issued in early 2022 to major French and European manufacturers and after several months of negotiations, Le Train and Talgo have aligned for the development of a new fleet of very high-speed trains based on the Talgo Avril train platform.
“We have chosen Talgo, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers, with cutting-edge industrial technology and the industrial strength to guarantee the excellence of the equipment produced. The tailor-made design proposed by Talgo will enable us to develop a unique passenger experience, particularly for the on-board transport of leisure and sports equipment such as bicycles and surfboards. Finally, our two companies share a common ambition: to work in a sustainable way for low-carbon mobility,” Alain Getraud, CEO of Le Train, said.
Le Train obtained its railway company licence on 24 December 2022 and is successfully progressing with all the requirements to start commercial operations. The private operator will provide transport services in the regions of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Brittany, Pays de la Loire and Centre-Val-de-Loire.
Le Train was founded in 2020 with the aim to offer high-speed services dedicated to regional and inter-regional travel. Operating 5 high-speed lines in the French Great West, the company will serve 11 destinations to connect the cities of Bordeaux, Rennes, Nantes and Tours, the major cities of Poitiers, Angoulême and Angers, and the coastal cities of La Rochelle and Arcachon. The 50 daily trains to be deployed are expected to carry more than 3 million passenger each year.